Outbreak of corridor fever feared

2009-03-30 00:00

An outbreak of corridor disease has been blamed for the death of cows in the Pongolo area.

KZN MEC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Mtholephi Mthimkhulu said the department does not know the actual number of deaths, but suspects it could be in excess of 20.

A statement released by the department said the MEC has put together a team of scientists to establish the exact cause of the deaths and to find an immediate solution. All the symptoms are pointing to corridor disease, the department said.

It is believed the cows could have contracted the disease after grazing in the same fields as some buffalo from the Ithala Game Reserve.

The department said it has taken immediate steps to try and stop more deaths from occurring by ordering that all buffalo at Ithala be moved away from areas close to the human settlements to avoid the infection of livestock.

But when The Witness contacted Ithala, manager Jeffrey Makwala said he had no knowledge of the outbreak.

“I have not heard anything about cows dying around here” said Makwala.

The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) also said they had not been informed about the deaths.

Sandy La Marque, the CEO of Kwanalu, said: “If there is an outbreak we have not heard anything about it”.

The department said it has sent an order to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to increase the number of security personnel that guard against mixed grazing and that it will be introducing a public education programme targeted at all communities bordering nature reserves to ensure that they understand the dangers of mixing wildlife with domesticated stock.

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