Strange disease kills 1,000 goats and sheep in Taita Taveta

Monday October 29 2018

Livestock death

A farmer counts carcasses of his sheep at Bori area in Marsabit County in 2017. A strange disease has killed more than 1,000 goats and sheep in Kasigau, Taita Taveta County. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

LUCY MKANYIKA
By LUCY MKANYIKA
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Farmers in Kasigau, Taita Taveta County, are counting losses after a strange disease killed more than 1,000 goats and sheep.

The disease is said to have affected livestock in Kasigau Location after heavy rains hit the area last week.

The farmers have asked the Livestock department to send veterinary officers to the area to avoid more losses.

Some farmers, who have leased local ranches to fatten their livestock for export, have also been affected by the disease.

Livestock at Amaka and Kasigau ranches were also affected.

LOST 100 GOATS

Kasigau Ranch Director Renson Dio said they lost over 100 goats on Sunday. Mr Dio said their livestock developed a fever and refused to feed before dying.

 “We have been baffled by the strange disease that has killed our livestock. The disease has mainly affected goats and sheep,” Mr Dio said.

He said the strange disease, which cropped up last week, might have been caused by the heavy rains that pounded the area last week.   

He said that they had already notified the department of Livestock who is yet to send their officers to the area to identify the disease.

 “We fear the strange disease might spread and even affect more livestock,” he said.

MOIST PASTURE

Another livestock farmer Mr Abdi Isaak said he had lost over 150 goats at Kuranze area at the border of Taita Taveta and Kwale counties.  

He said that despite treating his livestock after the attack, the animals kept on dying.

“The livestock might have consumed moist pasture owing to the ongoing rains,” he said.

Taita Taveta County Executive for Agriculture and Livestock Davis Mwangoma said he had already dispatched a team of veterinary officers to the affected areas.

He, however, refuted claims that a huge number of livestock had died in the area.

WEATHER CHANGES

Mr Mwangoma said the death of the animals might have been caused by a sudden change of weather. He said the animals might have died of pneumonia.  

“Some animals might have died but I don’t think the figures released by the farmers are accurate,” he said.

He said his team would on Monday verify the number of livestock that had died of the strange disease.

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