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Anthrax attack cost farmers


Mampho Tsupane

The Maseru Abattoir has stopped buying local animals following an Anthrax suspected outbreak at Ha-Teko.

It is reported that about 18 to 20 animals have died due to the virus.

The Maseru Abattoir told Newsday that their decision to stop buying local meat to protect their consumers.

Production Health Manager at the abattoir, Thaane Hlalele confirmed that it is not the first time the virus attacks animals in this country.

Last year he said they experienced the same problem and right now the virus is only found in Lesotho in the region.

“Right now we have stopped accepting animals from farmers until doctors have finished with their investigation as to whether the virus that is attacking the animals is indeed Anthrax,” Hlalele explained.

He noted that at present the signed presented to them fit those of anthrax, but they are waiting for expert confirmation before opening the purchasing platform.

Hlalele mentioned that in order for the abattoir to accept animals from local farmers, their animals need to have a certificate that clears their animals of any diseases and certifying that they have received Anthrax Vaccine, if not, they do not won’t buy.

“The virus is found in the soil and it infects animals during grazing. The animals take it in through their saliva,” explained adding that it is mostly passed to humans through blood contact or in through air.

“Animals that are infected are not supposed to mix with those which are not infected as they can easily be infected too. The spores of this virus can pass from one animal to another easily.

He added, “During the heavy rains, the virus is mostly to be found on the soil. And the virus attacks every animal.

Hlalele noted that the virus can also kill humans, especially if they eat the infected animal, or even come to contact with it.

“Infected animals have to stay about 10km away from other animals. The virus does not show much of the symptoms, you can only see blood coming out from the pores of the skin, and that blood does not clout.

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