Cattle exhibition, auctions banned at Midlands show after foot and mouth outbreak

Cattle exhibition, auctions banned at Midlands show after foot and mouth outbreak

GWERU, July 22 (The Source) – The 90th edition of the Midlands Agricultural Show, which starts on Wednesday will be without one of its main attractions, the cattle exhibition, following the outbreak of foot and mouth in the province, an official has said.

“The cattle exhibition has been suspended due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The veterinary department has failed to contain the disease, we have even suspended the annual cattle auction,” Midlands Show Society chairman Paschal Muringani told The Source.

The Midlands show is set to run from July 22 to 26.

Muringani bemoaned government’s failure to import vaccines needed to control the disease from Botswana, but said farmers could buy the vaccines on their own.

“What came out of (a recent meeting) with the veterinary department is that government has been struggling to get vaccines through Botswana, but it has allowed farmers to bring in their own vaccines,” said Muringani.

In April the veterinary services department suspended cattle trade in parts of the province — notably in Zvishavane, Gweru and Mvuma which are known as the Red Zone districts — when the outbreak occurred.