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Zimbabwe: Chickens in Binga Hit by Disease

by 5m Editor
19 August 2009, at 10:57am

ZIMBABWE - A highly contagious disease affecting fowls is said to have broken out in Binga and Hwange districts of Matabeleland North.

Enterprising women from Bulawayo who travel to Binga to buy chickens for resale in Bulawayo are stranded with the chickens in Binga after the Department of Veterinary Services in the area tightened restrictions on the movement of all domesticated birds in the area following the outbreak of the disease last week.

"No one is allowed to take chickens from Binga these days. On Monday veterinary people made me to leave all the 20 chickens which I had exchanged with clothes and other items with the local people. They have mounted roadblocks along the way to prevent the movement of the birds," said Joice Ndlovu who is a chicken dealer.

She is among scores of women who now survives on either buying or exchanging goods with the locals and re-sell the chickens to local restaurants and eating houses where rural chickens popularly known as 'chicken makhaya' are sought after. Areas that have been affected include Binga, Siabuwa, Sinamatela and Kalikwezi.

According to TheZimbabwean, thousands of chickens in the affected areas have since been quarantined, but it was not immediately clear how the exercise was faring in the two vast districts considering the acute fuel shortage hampering movement of veterinary staff.

Observers yesterday warned that the outbreak could threaten the diet regime of a number of people in the area.

Symptoms of the Newcastle disease include discharge through nasal cavities and greenish diarrhoea droppings .

The disease is incurable and can only be prevented through vaccination and quarantines.

Efforts to get a comment from the Department of Veterinary Services in Matabeleland North could not be reached for comment.