OVER 400 cattle at Harare City Council farms died from neglect this year alone, an audit has revealed. A good number of them are diseased. Councillors are also concerned that since 2008, the number of cattle at council farms had remained at 5 000.
Audit manager Mr Joseph Issa told the Audit Committee recently that 428 deaths were recorded in 2014. “Ingwe and Crowborough farms were the most affected by high mortality due to shortage of pastures and disease outbreaks.
“Thirty-five distressed animals, representing 0,7 percent of the total cattle were noted in all farms.
“Distressed animals were not being quarantined.
“The head count revealed a total of 5 099 cattle were being held at three council farms – Crowborough, Ingwe and Pension,” read part of the committee’s minutes.
Mr Issa recommended the purchase of bulls and the need to improve water supply into the paddocks.
He said 150 animals were ready for sale in January next year and that National Foods (Pvt) Ltd would supplement stockfeeds.
During a full council meeting on Tuesday, Rugare and Lochinvar councillor Peter Moyo said there was need to change management at the city farms.
“There is need for council to employ new staff at council farms who have requisite skills and competencies to rear cattle,” he said.
Mufakose councillor Allisen Moffat said there was no order at council farms as some cattle were straying into his ward.
“We see cattle in our ward because there is no fence at Crowborough Farm. There is need to restore sanity at all the three farms,” he said.
The councillors recommended the drilling of boreholes to ease water supply challenges at council farms and the erection of perimeter fences to safeguard the cattle.
They urged city management to quarantine distressed animals and to train personnel manning the farms - Herald.