10 cattle have been put down in Shamva and Centenary after being illegally moved in defiance of a quarantine order placed on Rushinga and Mount Darwin districts to curb an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

The Veterinary Services Department put down a herd of 5 cattle in Shamva and another 5 in Centenary after they were illegally moved from Rushinga district.

Rushinga and Mt Darwin districts are under quarantine after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Mashonaland Central Provincial Veterinary Officer in the Veterinary Services Department, Dr Wilmot Chikurenhe said the animals were put down to avert the potential spread of the disease.

“The case in point is movement of 10 cattle from Rushinga, five of which were destined for Centenary and the other for Shamva, in the dead of night. We are at point of destroying them, and this is for public good,” he said.

The first case of foot and mouth disease was detected at a dip tank in Mutungagore on 25 June and the disease is suspected to have spread from Mozambique since authorities there reported an outbreak on 18 June.

“This disease affects animal keepers, transporters, butcheries, abattoir operators and the general public, there is a huge cost of dealing with disease outbreaks so we appeal to people to check for stray cattle, and operators to abide by veterinary department recommendations,” added Dr Chikurenhe.

The affected area, Mt Darwin has a cattle herd of 120 000, while Rushinga has 40 000 cattle. Under the Animal Health Act, it is illegal to move cattle from an area without a permit from the Veterinary Services Department.