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Title: The epidemiology of malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) and contribution to cattle losses in farms around Rhodes Matopos National Park, Zimbabwe
Authors: Mlilo, Dedani
Mhlanga, Mlamuleli
Mwembe, Richard
Keywords: Commercial
Issue Date: Apr-2015
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Abstract: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a fatal viral disease of cattle prevalent in farms bordering wildlife conservancies and national parks where cattle and wildebeests cohabit. The behaviour of the diseases and its related contribution to cattle mortalities has been poorly studied in the smallholder sector. A study was therefore conducted to established trends of occurrence and contribution to animal losses in 97 smallholder farms and eight commercial farms bordering Rhodes Matopos National Park (RMNP). A structured questionnaire and secondary records were used to gather the data in the smallholder and commercial farms, respectively. In the smallholder sector, cattle farmers from three villages were chosen as respondents in a survey to provide information on the impact and extent of losses in their cattle herds. Epidemiological data from January 2006 to April 2014 was extracted from farm records from two Matopos Research Institute farms. A seasonal pattern in MCF occurrence was observed. Most cattle mortalities were recorded during summer (February to May), with highest mortalities recorded from March to April. Sporadic cases were however recorded in October and November in year 2007, 2010, and 2012. The study further revealed that MCF caused 71 and 21 % of cattle mortalities in the commercial and smallholder sector, respectively. Deferred grazing of wildebeest hotspots by restriction of cattle movement during summer or November to April period avoids wildebeest-cattle contact. This can alleviate cattle mortalities due to MCF.
Appears in Collections:Department of Animal and Rangeland Management

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