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Kabompo starts animal jabs against blackleg

THE Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) in Kabompo has started vaccinating animals in the district following the outbreak of the blackleg disease.
According to a Friday brief availed to the Daily Mail by the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) recently, the first case of the disease was reported about a fortnight ago and has so far claimed six cows.
“In an effort to help reduce animal disease outbreak and to curb the blackleg disease that has broken out in Kabompo, we have embarked on a vaccination exercise. I can confirm that, since the exercise started, about 300 head of cattle have been targeted so far,” Kapombo district veterinary officer Gershom Chungu said.
Dr Chungu said it is important that all the farmers adhere to the vaccination programme as it is the only way of preventing the disease from spreading, especially that cattle in the district graze in communal areas.
Blackleg outbreak threatens the development of livestock in the district in particular and North-Western Province as a whole.
Blackleg an infectious bacterial disease most commonly caused by Clostridium chauvoei, a Gram-positive bacterial species.
It is seen in livestock all over the world, usually affecting cattle, sheep and goats.
The disease has been seen occasionally in farmed bison and deer.
The acute nature of the disease makes successful treatment difficult, but an effective vaccine is available to provide animals with protective immunity.
When infection begins, the animal may develop a fever and the affected limb can feel hot to the touch.
The leg usually swells and the animal can develop lameness on the affected limb.
Crepitation (the sensation of air under the skin) can be noticed in many infections, as the area seems to crackle under pressure.
Once clinical signs develop, the animal may only live a short while, sometimes as few as 12 hours.