Zimbabwe News

Farmers implore government to review livestock policy

Farmers in Matabeleland have implored the Government to review its policy of destroying livestock driven into another zone without permits or proper clearance.

Some of the farmers who spoke to Southern Eye said the policy is too harsh and retrogressive.

Nkayi Community Parliament deputy speaker and communal farmer, Nkosilathi Ncube, said cattle should only be destroyed if they are diseased. Said Ncube:

I am against the killing of animals but I suggest the government must impound the animals and if it’s the owner, they can fine the owner and give them back their animals.

If it’s an unknown person the cattle must be forfeited to the state. Unless they have some disease, then they can be quarantined or destroyed.

We must use the local Neighbourhood Watch committee members to assist in the clearing of cattle and put in place community policing forums to ensure that the cattle that are transported are properly cleared and those who are caught stealing cattle must face the mandatory jail term.

Matabeleland South farmer and Kirton Farmers Association chairperson, Moketsi Basuthu, said:

The modus operandi of getting a vet permit and stock clearance from the police needs to be better oiled so that farmers don’t struggle when they have to move their livestock.

Destruction of livestock to farmers naturally speaks to loss of livelihood.

Again, we don’t expect a farmer who has his livelihood at heart and that of his fellow farming community to will-nilly move their stock without requisite authority.

The Fencing Provisions Act is poorly enforced, yet it should be there to augment the Disease Management and Livestock Movement Act.

Another farmer from Matabeleland South Province Ben Moyo, however, expressed his support for the policy of destroying impounded livestock. He said:

People need clearance to move cattle. We simply have to follow the law which will enable our animals to be healthy and as farmers, we can make more money from them.

If our cattle for example were to stray into Botswana, because cattle are big business in Botswana they will shoot them.

On 24 February, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development issued a notice calling on farmers to desist from illegally moving livestock without proper documentation.

Back to top button