The Department of Fisheries and Livestock in Kabompo district of Northwestern province has recorded eight suspected cases of black leg livestock disease.

The affected animals are in Dikeli area in chief Kalunga’s chiefdom.

Kabompo District Veterinary Coordinator, Gershon Chungu said the suspected cases were all reported in a space of three months when farmers noticed that their animals were suddenly dying.

Dr. Chungu, who disclosed this in an interview with ZANIS in Kabompo, said the affected animals showed symptoms of blackleg although laboratory tests have not yet been done to make a conclusion.

He has since appealed to farmers to consistently vaccinate their animals at prescribed times and not to wait for disease outbreaks saying it was costly to treat than to prevent.

Dr. Chungu said government is able to provide technical support and training to the farmers through camp officers but cannot afford to supply vaccines to everyone for free.

Meanwhile, Kabompo District Commissioner, Shatewa Ndumba has visited Dikeli and surrounding areas in the company of agriculture camp officers to check on the extent of the alleged blackleg cases.

Ms. Ndumba appealed to the farmers to take care of their animals by budgeting for their vaccines and drugs as they are their source of livelihood.

She also advised the farmers not to eat meat of animals suspected to have died of blackleg in order to avoid further spread the disease.

He said the carcasses of animals which died as a result of suspected blackleg should be buried or burnt.

And a camp officer, Christopher Busiku also advised the residents to ensure that pigs are confined throughout the year to avoid the spread of jiggers, another disease which has become common in the area.

Blackleg, also known as black quarter, quarter evil, or quarter ill, is 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.

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