The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

MID­LANDS, Mon­day, Novem­ber 18, 1991 — The Depart­ment of Ve­teri­nary Ser­vices in the Mid­lands prov­ince will to­day launch a mas­sive test­ing for the foot and mouth virus at farms in the Gwenoro area of Gweru dis­trict, which was hard hit dur­ing an out­break of the dis­ease in 1989.

An­i­mals at these farms have been in quar­an­tine since the out­break of the dis­ease in the prov­ince in 1989. The test­ing, which will re­port­edly cost about $100 000 is be­ing con­ducted fol­low­ing a fresh out­break of the dis­ease at Whad­don Chase Farm in Mvurwi, in Mashona­land Cen­tral Prov­ince.

Fol­low­ing the out­break, Zim­babwe sus­pended the multi-mil­lion dol­lar ex­ports to Europe. A Mvurwi farmer is said to have bought cat­tle from Mid­lands prov­ince and these cat­tle are sus­pected to have been car­ri­ers of the virus. Mr Dave In­gle, who is re­spon­si­ble for the cat­tle sec­tion at Gweru agri­cul­tural shows, and also one of the farm­ers who was hard hit by the out­break in the Gwenoro area, said farm­ers in the are had been ad­vised by the ve­teri­nary depart­ment that fresh tests for the foot and mouth virus will be con­ducted in the area as from to­day.

He said the tests in­volved the col­lec­tion of sam­ples through throat scrap­ing. Mr In­gle said the sam­ples will be sent to the United King­dom for tests. He, how­ever, said there were no signs that some cat­tle in the area still had the foot and mouth virus.

“In the event of some beasts test­ing pos­i­tive for the virus, I am con­fi­dent that the farm­ers will be more than will­ing to get rid of them as they would not like to see an­other out­break of the dis­ease”, said Mr In­gle who lost about $200 000 as a re­sult of the 1989 out­break.

He said farm­ers in the Gwenoro area be­lieve that the virus was brought to their farms by wild pigs which of­ten came to the cat­tle pens at night to feed along with the cat­tle.

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