Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

The most credible news source in Barbados

Belize: Agricultural officials monitoring deadly outbreak among cattle

May 23, 2024

CMC – Belizean agricultural officials are blaming an infectious disease for an outbreak causing the deaths of cattle in the Cayo District.

In a statement, the Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprises (MAFSE), and the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) say they are aware of the situation and “have been actively monitoring and supporting the farmers in the affected areas”.

They said surveillance has detected Anaplasmosis, an infectious disease that is transmitted primarily by ticks and the re-use of blood-contaminated equipment such as needles.

“It can affect cattle of all ages, but the severity intensifies with poor nutrition, and in pregnant, nursing, or older animals. The risk of infection increases when noninfected cattle are mixed with those carrying the disease and when environmental conditions favour the increased activity of biting flies and ticks.“

The agricultural officials said that the signs include weakness, weight loss, increased aggression, difficulty breathing, abortion, and anemia, which may cause yellowing or paleness in the mucous membrane and thin, watery blood.

They said while the situation in western Belize is under active surveillance, farmers are urged to closely monitor their herds and to implement preventative measures in their production systems.

“These would include improved pasture management and tick control, routine animal inspection, application of approved insecticide treatment, testing and treating infested animals with approved and prescribed medication, and avoiding the multiple uses of needles.”

“Furthermore, farmers are reminded to ensure that animals have access to adequate food, minerals, water, and shade, as the excessive heat and dryness exacerbate stress on animal,” the statement added.

About The Author

Share this!