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Farmers warned to vaccinate animals against Rift Valley fever

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Department has warned that the recent good rainfall in certain areas of the country will result in an increase in the number of mosquitoes that transmit this disease.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has reminded livestock owners to vaccinate their animals against Rift Valley fever.

The media liaison officer at the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Reggie Ngcobo, said that good rainfall was expected due to the La Niña weather phenomenon.

“This will result in an increase in the numbers of mosquitoes. Rift Valley fever is a serious viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes. The disease can be carried from infected animals to healthy animals,” said Ngcobo.

He warned that the disease could cause abortions and deaths in cattle, sheep and goats.

“People coming into contact with the blood and other body fluids of infected animals may also develop Rift Valley fever. Farmers are therefore advised to vaccinate all cattle, sheep and goats against Rift Valley fever.

“Live vaccine (OBP Live) must only be used on non-pregnant animals as the live vaccine can cause abortions. Only a dead/inactivated (OBP) vaccine must be used on pregnant animals. It is the responsibility of the animal owners to vaccinate their animals to prevent death of their animals leading to financial losses.”

Ngcobo encouraged that any suspicion of a case of Rift Valley fever be reported immediately to the nearest state veterinarian.