Staff Reporter Windhoek-An unprecedented spate of abortions causing cattle losses of up to 85 percent in the central and eastern areas of Khomas Region, as well as in Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions, has now become a national concern with the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) and various private veterinarians joining hands to try and solve the crisis. Losses due to abortion range between 40 and 85 percent in the areas hardest hit, and government and private veterinarians have been working closely together around the clock to identify the cause of thousands of reported cattle abortions over the past two months. These reports originate from various farms and the incidents are now suspected to be broader than originally thought. Numerous samples have been submitted to the Windhoek Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) as well as to Onderstepoort and Path Care in the Western Cape Province, and research is ongoing after only the bacterium Enterococcus casseliflavus was identified originally. Although most of the abortions were reported to have taken place between 3-6 months, there were also reports of older calves aborted. It seems that symptoms vary but one is a high fever of the cow shortly before aborting. NAU announced last Friday that it has developed a questionnaire with the technical assistance of various private veterinarians. Information from producers who have experienced abortions among their livestock in the past 12 months is crucial. NAU is facilitating the questionnaires distribution and processing the information received. All producers who have noticed livestock abortions, and even among game, horses, and dogs, are being urged to complete the questionnaire and send it to the NAU office as soon as possible. The information derived from these questionnaires will be used to determine similarities between the situations of the affected producers. Any information will be dealt with as strictly confidential as only the NAU office will receive the information and process it – any information of individual producers will under no circumstances be given to any third party. The questionnaire can be downloaded at https://www.dropbox.com/s/ . Completed questionnaires are to be sent to Rina Hough at email@example.com. Veterinarians told Farmers Forum that the basis of all abortion prevention programmes is sound herd health management. They say biosecurity is key. Their advice is to minimise the risk of introducing diseases onto the farm. Either cattle bought must be effectively quarantined for a minimum of 14 days or a completely ‘closed’ herd must be maintained. Vaccination is an integral component of a complete herd health programme and is not a remedy for poor management. Abortion is the production of a dead calf within 270 days of insemination. It can be divided into non-infectious and infectious causes. Infectious causes are the most important and the ones for which there are specific control measures.
2017-10-31 09:54:53 10 months ago