A poisonous plant identified as Pavetta, Legonnyana in Setswana, has been reported as the root course for deaths of cattle in some areas of Kweneng.
Speaking during the ongoing Kweneng District full council meeting, principal veterinary officer Dr Elisha Nyakarombo explained that reports from recordings conducted by end of May reveal that some farmers have lost up to 50 cattle. He said the areas mostly affected are Medie, Lentsweletau, Kweneng, Boatlaname, Lephepe and Ngware.
Dr Nyakarombo said the recorded figures of the dead livestock might rise since the farmers said some cattle are still at large. He said through their findings the Pavetta plant affects the heart of an animal, causing heart failure which occurs over three to six weeks after consumption.
When commenting on the issue, councilor for Thamaga West, Mr Molatedi Selala asked the doctor if they have thoroughly investigated that indeed Pavetta plant is the livestock killer, further suggesting that they make handouts for farmers about this poisonous plant and its prevention method.
However, Dr Nyakarombo embraced the idea to give leaflets to the public regarding the outbreak. He also explained that they since taken the plant and tested it at their laboratory and performed postmortem in dead animals on what caused the deaths, and its confirmed Legonnyana is the cause of deaths.
Furthermore, Dr Nayakarombo said the plant mostly grows during the drought season, a time livestock gets to lack certain nutrients causing them to crave almost anything.” That is why we always advise farmers to supply supplements continuously during drought to avoid deaths”, said Nyakarombo.
He also advised that farmers de-sock, selling oxen and old cows in order to reduce pressure on the available grazing area.
Councilor for Thamaga North, Mr Palelo Motaosane raised concern regarding the mounting of solar streets lights in their village, saying Thamaga road network covers around 40 kilometres, but the department of roads says they will only cover 1.3 kilometres.
Councilor Selala said solar lights cannot spread enough light in darkness and they cannot help to deter criminal activities in the village. “We want flood lights at identified crime hot spots, otherwise you can consult with us on where else we can spend the budgeted money”,
Credit: All Africa