ZIMBABWE’S leading abattoir, Carswell Meats, has been hit by a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak, forcing it to temporarily suspend the slaughter of animals indefinitely.
Unconfirmed reports last night said there was al
so another outbreak at an abattoir along Mutare Road and measures had been put in place to quarantine the farm. Private abattoirs have become the major suppliers of meet to urban areas after the collapse of the government-owned Cold Storage Company.
Carswell Meats’ Nyabira branch, 30 kilometres out of Harare along the Chinhoyi highway, stopped slaughtering cattle three weeks ago following the discovery of FMD among cattle in the feeding paddocks used to fatten cattle before slaughter.
A Carswell Meats farm general manager who refused to be named confirmed that an FMD outbreak was discovered three weeks ago at the farm and that government had deployed a team of veterinary experts to stop the spread of the disease.
“A veterinary team led by Dr Josphat Nyika has been based at the farm for the past three weeks,” the general manager said.
“They have been treating some of the affected animals and controllers have been put at all farm entrances to quarantine vehicles at the point of entry.”
He said another team of assessors would be visiting the farm today (Friday) to check on progress.
“We will need up to three weeks to make sure the disease is eradicated before we can resume the slaughter of animals.”
The general manager referred any further questions to Nyika whom he said was in charge of the operation.
FMD outbreaks have increased in different parts of the country over the past six years due to the uncontrolled movement of animals during the chaotic land reform programme. — Staff Writer.