PLANS are afoot to undertake 1 600 kilometers of fencing around the country’s major game reserves in a bid to contain the sporadic out breaks of foot in livestock particularly cattle.
The game reserves earmarked for fencing are Gonerezhou, Chirisa and Hwange
Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr Anxious Masuka, said though Foot and Mouth cannot be eradicated completely it can be contained through minimizing contact between livestock and wild animals.
“Foot and mouth cannot be eradicated. It is resident in buffaloes in Gonarezhou, Chirisa and in Hwange. To control foot and mouth in livestock is to be able to effectively manage the separation largely through game fences and the requisite vaccinations for our cattle.
Until and unless that is done through the availing of sufficient resources to do that timeously, I am afraid we will have few more seasons where we will continue to have outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in various parts of the country.
Notwithstanding that, there are various initiatives that Government is looking at through the livestock growth plan to be able to complete 1 600 kilometers of fencing around Gonarezhou, Chirisa and Hwange. We need to ensure that we acquire the necessary vaccines to be able to complete the second round of vaccinations before the end of September”.
Meanwhile Minister Masuka says there was need for the country to look at African markets to export beef as conditions to enter the European market were currently unobtainable
“However, let me just comment about the myth regarding the European market. The European market was premised on certain fundamentals that are largely unobtainable now and perhaps may I request the Hon. Member to engage us to then look at the markets that are just next door to us within Africa and elsewhere where we think our beef, in its current form, can still have a market”.