Veterinary doctors have ruled out an anthrax outbreak in Tana River County and linked black quarter disease to the deaths of more than 100 cows.
The county director of the veterinary services, Anthony Kinywa, on Monday confirmed that herders mistook black quarter with anthrax because animals infected with the diseases exhibit the similar symptoms “since both are from the same family despite slight differences”.
“Black quarter occurs after every rainy season and we are dealing with the situation,” added Dr Kinywa.
He said both anthrax and black quarter are contained with similar vaccines but urged farmers to consult professional veterinary officers to get the correct vaccines.
“We’ve heard that they are vaccinating their animals but we are trying to find out who are helping them,” added Dr Kinywa.
The county director of veterinary services said a team of veterinary doctors and animal health assistants have been deployed in affected areas in Tana Delta to contain the killer disease.
A spokesman for local herders, Mr Abdulkadir Gobu, said they have suffered huge losses since the black quarter disease outbreak in early December 2017.
“I have personally lost more than five animals from what we suspected to be anthrax. Many of my colleagues in areas of Chamnala, Burumburu and Samicha have also lost their animals. We need serious attention from the veterinary officers,” said Mr Gobu.
The affected herdsmen indicated that their animals are also suffering from foot-and-mouth disease and tsetse flies, which causes killer fever.
Dr Kinywa admitted that there is an acute shortage of vaccines.
There were reports that the country had run out of anthrax and black quarter vaccines.
Two weeks ago, the government received several tonnes of the vaccines from France but farmers are complaining that they are being sold at exorbitant prices.
“A bottle of the vaccine is sold to us at Sh1,500 in major agro-dealers in Mombasa and Nairobi yet the government price is set at Sh900 per the small bottle,” said Mr Ali Ijema.