Perceptions on malignant catarrhal fever (mcf) by farmers close to rhodes matopos national park, Zimbabwe

Dedani Mlilo, Mlamuleli Mhlangaa, Busani Moyoc, Givious Sisitob, Richard Mwembeb, 1Boat Sibandaa, Obey Dagab and Shadreck Ncubeb

Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF) is a regularly sporadic disease of cattle in farms where there is contact between cattle and wildebeests. A study was conducted in smallholder and commercial farms close to Matopos National Park with the aim to determine farmer perceptions on the importance, possible transmission and control of MCF. Information was obtained from eight (8) commercial farms and ninety seven (97) smallholder farms using a semi structured questionnaire. The smallholder sector comprised of three (3) villages (Nyumbane, Manzana and Tshonaphansi). Malignant catarrhal fever, Quarter evil, Lumpy skin disease, Heartwater, Botulism and Helminthiasis were perceived to be the most important diseases in both sectors. Quarter evil and Lumpy skin disease were rated as major causes of cattle losses in Manzana and Nyumbane villages. Overall, MCF was rated as the most important disease at Tshonaphansi village and the commercial farms but second to Quarter evil in the smallholder sector. Perceptions by farmers in the commercial sector on importance, transmission, clinical signs and control of MCF were relatively accurate compared to that of the smallholder farmers. Farmers from both sectors do not treat clinical cases but instead slaughter the animals for domestic consumption. There was consistency on the perception of the seasonality of MCF occurrence and association of its occurrence with the calving season of wildebeests in both the smallholder and commercial sectors. It is therefore concluded that the farmers’ perception on the importance, transmission and control depend on the type of farming sector and season.

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