Zone 7 farmers hope still alive


Zone 7 farmers hope still alive

Central District veterinary officer, Dr Jaone Sebina, has assured Zone 7 farmers of the possibility of selling their cattle in the European Union (EU) market.

Dr Sebina told farmers in Bobonong that there was still hope only if they could satisfy the International Animal Health Organisation (OIE) affirming that Zone 7 was free from Food and Month Disease.

In a recent meeting with farmers, he said government had satisfied all procedures requested by OIE so that the Zone 7 could be declared a green zone.

Dr Sebina said all these routines included individual identification cattle in Zone 7 through ear tagging and data basing, routine cattle vaccinations and control of cattle movement.

He said after all these routines had been done, OIE will inspect the standards implemented by Botswana that were needed by OIE to satisfy itself eventually declaring Zone 7 a Green zone.

Dr Sebina said cattle identification through ear tagging was the only stage that Zone 7 was left with while only 22 per cent of ear tags had been issued, inserted and registered on the cattle database.

He said farmers were still in possession of the 78 per cent of the ear tags issued to them urging them to tag their cattle.

He emphasised the importance of ear tagging each cattle for easy identification in regard to particulars such as colour, age, gender, ownership, place of originality and many more.

“I urge all farmers who have not yet ear tagged their cattle to do so, so that Zone 7 can be declared a Green Zone and start selling meat to EU market,” he said. He encouraged farmers to take advantage of the extension period of February 15 to ear tag their cattle saying they should have done the ear tagging by February 1.

Dr Sebina said EU market was buying beef at high prices than all markets where Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) sold its beef.

He said Zone 7 used to be very important to Botswana Meat Commission as it was one of the zones which had a better supply of cattle.

He said should the Zone 7 be declared free from Foot and Mouth disease, it will help to recuperate the BMC which is currently experiencing shortage of cattle supply.

One farmer Mr Rapelang Nkgowe encouraged farmers to meet all the requests that will help Zone 7 be declared free from Foot and Mouth disease. BOPA

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