Reckless artisanal miners in Zvishavane are causing unnecessary livestock losses after the animals drink water laced with cyanide, which finds its way into water weirs during processing of gold, Nhau has learnt.
Farmers at Kromdry in Zvishavane district recently raised alarm after failing to identify a “new disease” outbreak that was paralysing the front legs of their livestock followed by a quick death.
Zvishavane-Mberengwa Veterinary Officer, Dr Claudious Maguranyanga, told Nhau that they had received reports of cattle dying at Mimosa turn-off along Bulawayo road.
“There have been reports of cattle dying at Mimosa turn-off along Bulawayo road … The cattle are dying from what we call cyanide poisoning,” Dr Maguranyanga revealed.
“Water contaminated with cyanide is finding its way into the water weir. Cattle that use that source have fallen victim to the cyanide.”
Over the past two weeks farmers around the area have lost about 10 cattle due to cyanide poisoning.
Dr Maguranyanga said cyanide acts fast and finding an antidote quick enough to save affected herds was close to impossible.
“At the moment animal disease outbreaks have been contained, farmers are being urged to protect livestock against consuming water contaminated with cyanide.” Nhau/Indaba