Livestock tick death reduced to 56pc

The number of domesticated animals dying from the tick-borne disease has gone down thanks to the government initiative to subsidise pesticides.

According to the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries data, the death rate from tick-borne diseases dropped to 56 per cent compared to 72 per cent in 2018/2019.

The Ministry’s Assistant Director of Livestock Disease Control, Dr Benezeth Lutege, said that between 2018/2019 and to date the government spent some 4.7bn/- to subsidies the purchasing of 128,860 litres of animal pesticides.

“The first treatment for animals is periodic dipping…this helped to reduce the number of tick death in the country,” Dr Lutege told ‘Daily News’ yesterday.

During the period, data showed that half of the animals estimated 17.697 billion received periodic dipping out of the 38.686 billion animals in the country.

Though, the number of animals dying of ticks decreased the government was not pleased because the rate was still high and its efforts were backpedalled by lacking animal dips while demand for them was higher, especially, in the rural areas.

The plan is to build 8,657 cattle dips countrywide in the country. Currently, there are only 2,901 dips. And in 2023/24 they expect to build 246 cattle dips at 5.658bn/-.

Also, in the coming budget, the government allocated 2.5bn/- to buy 56,000 litres of animal pesticides.

To further address the issue the government reduced the price of dipping animals to 50/- for a cow while goats and sheep 10/- from previous between 500/- and 700/-, and 200/- and 300/- respectively.

“The controlled dipping plan also assisted to provide guidance on which vaccine should be used while eliminating resistance of livestock pesticides,” Dr Lutege said.

“Before the government intervention livestock keeper used the pesticide they wanted.”

Another problematic livestock disease is trypanosomiasis which also is controlled by periodic dipping and the regions most affected are Meatu in Simiyu, Kigoma, Mara, and Katavi.

A Dar es Salaam livestock keeper, Ms Jacqueline Sadicky said cows stand a huge chance of dying if not dipping regularly, especially by trypanosomiasis and tick-borne.

“Last year three of my cows died due to animal trypanosomiasis now days I used to consult veterinary experts and are growing healthy,” said Ms Sadicky while recalling the ordeal.

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