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1,000 goats die from hypothermia disease in Taita Taveta 

The  Veterinary officials from Mariakani Veterinary Investigation Laboratory taking samples from a sheep in Kasigau ranch last week so as to acertain what caused the deaths of more than 1000 animals. Photo by KNA.

Preliminary laboratory results from Mariakani Veterinary Investigation laboratory (VIL) have revealed that hypothermia disease caused the deaths of more than 1,000 goats and sheep last week in Kasigau location in Voi sub county.

In a statement to the newsrooms on Wednesday, Davis  Mwangoma who is the Chief Executive Committee Member (CEC) in charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries announced that the condition almost caused panic among the farmers in various areas especially ranches in the county.

“Hypothermia is a condition where the body temperature of an animal falls below a critical levels and renders it unable to perform metabolic functions that keeps it alive. This led to death due to prolonged exposure to low temperature during the 30 hours rain of Thursday 25th to 26th October 2018. Flocks especially of sheep that were kept in open bomas were most affected with very high mortalities.” read the statement.

Mwangoma advised the farmers to ensure their animals are sheltered from rain in periods of prolonged hours of rainfall.

He called on them to provide food and shelter to their animals in clean sheds so as to reduce opportunistic infections as grazing is not possible during such periods.

The CEC further said that the county’s department of veterinary services had also taken the opportunity to survey against other diseases that cause losses in livestock.

“The samples collected would also be screened in the veterinary laboratory and findings will be informative in mitigating actions to the county government and stakeholders,” he pointed out.

He called on the farmers to have close links with the department by reporting any changes in their livestock for quick action by the department.

“The general public is also advised to continue being vigilant and report any cases to the veterinary department in view of the effects of climate changes in livestock development in the county and the country at large.” said Mwangoma.

Last week farmers lost more than 1,000 sheep and goats to the strange disease.

The farmers who included those who had leased the ranches for fattening the animals for export had asked the Livestock department to send veterinary officers to the area to avoid more losses.

Among the ranches affected by the deaths were the Amaka and Kasigau.

In an interview at the Kasigau ranch, Renson Dio who is the director confirmed that this particular place had lost over 100 goats on Sunday.

“The dead animals mainly goats and sheep had developed a fever and refused to feed and suddenly dropped dead.”

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

By  Fatuma  Jumeah

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