NATION

Livestock Deaths In North

The livestock sector has been drastically affected by the dry spell affecting the Northern Division. Principal agricultural officer – North, John Cox, said there have been reported cases of livestock
02 Oct 2014 06:50

The livestock sector has been drastically affected by the dry spell affecting the Northern Division.

Principal agricultural officer – North, John Cox, said there have been reported cases of livestock deaths in the region.

“Bua and Macuata provinces have reported deaths of large animals, goats and sheep,” Mr Cox said.

“We have to understand that during the dry spell, animals are under stress and in certain cases they become malnourished and are vulnerable to secondary infections, diseases and worms.

“Animal feed, pasture and fodder have remained a challenge as large areas with good pasture have been lost in fires during the start of the dry spell.”

As a result he said animals were straying to other areas in search of food.

“We have an issue of stray animals and we are advising farmers to secure their animals and ensure they are kept within the farm boundaries.”

Livestock farmers are now advised to cull unproductive livestock as the dry spell continues.

Mr Cox said this was one of the measures that farmers would have to consider to cope with the dry spell. He said the most affected was the livestock sector.

“But we have to be very clear about the fact that animals are not dying due to dehydration or starvation,” Mr Cox said.

“It has more to do with management issues like in some areas, there are overcrowding and there is little grass. Some of the animals were also relying on cane tops but some of these cane tops were burnt down and even fodder crop was also lost in fires.”

Mr Cox said all these issues were being managed.

“We have contingency plans in place like in some cattle farms, we’ve asked the farmers to destock,” he said.

Also farmers are been advised to cart water and for people living near the creek to use water wisely.”

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