Brucellosis cases at Mafikeng Game Reserve under control
28 Sep 2010
The Veterinary Public Health unit of the North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Rural Development (DACERD) says until the next round of Brucellosis tests to be performed on the herd of buffaloes in Mafikeng Game Reserve reveals positive results again, neighboring livestock farmers need not to worry as this disease has so far been put under control.
This, after euthanising (in April) buffaloes that showed strong reaction on the screening test that was performed in March this year, and taking out another two which came out positive on the test done in May.
Another test was done in July, and it is on this round that no Brucellosis positive animal was recorded.
“It is however important to note that at this stage we cannot conclusively declare the reserve Brucellosis clean, until two more consecutive tests that should come out negative are performed in line with the DACERD and North West Parks Board control strategy,” says Dr Langa Madyibi, Director for Veterinary Services in the DACERD.
The next tests will be performed in October and December 2010 respectively.
Dr Madyibi says however that the July results signaled a positive move that was also in line with the expected outcome of the quarantine notice imposed by the Directorate Veterinary Services on the reserve in August 2008 (when the first cases were recorded), which he emphasises “will remain in place until there is satisfactory evidence that the herd is Brucellosis negative”.
“The disease management plan that we agreed upon with the management of the Parks Board was that we would subject the buffaloes to a series of tests to determine which ones were genuinely reacting to Brucellosis and which ones were falsely reacting. The further action in the plan was to isolate all reacting animals in a boma and release non-reacting ones to the park. All reacting animals and those definitely diagnosed to be positive for Brucellosis were to be either hunted or slaughtered in a registered game abattoir or destroyed,” explained Dr Madyibi.
Dr Madyibi says the Veterinary Public Health Officers (VPHs) will in partnership with the Parks Board conservationists monitor the situation, and urges local livestock farmers to seek help from the VPHs should there be any suspicious cases.
Brucellosis is a contagious disease in animals and is caused by bacteria (germs).
Cattle usually get the disease from contaminated feed or water or after licking infected material (afterbirth, calf or the cow itself). Most of these animals remain carriers of the disease for the rest of their lives.
Issued by: North West Agriculture, Conservation,Environment and Rural Development
28 Sep 2010
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