Buffalo shot dead
MBABANE – Amid fears of a foot and mouth disease outbreak, a buffalo that had crossed from South Africa to Swaziland was shot dead over a week ago.
It is reported that the buffalo had tried to attack a cordon guard who had mistaken it for a stray cow but got more than what he had bargained for when he approached it.
The incident happened near the Mananga border post, which is closer to South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, where an outbreak of foot and mouth has been reported.
"The buffalo had escaped from South Africa and it nearly killed one of the cordon guards who thought it was a cow. He wanted to drive it back to South Africa but when he saw that it was a buffalo he took to his heels and it ran after him," one of the cordon guards said.
He continued: "He called the other guards for help and they phoned the police who eventually shot and killed it."
The guard said it was fortunate that his colleague managed to outrun the beast and call for help because they are normally alone in the bushes guarding and keeping animals from crossing into Swaziland.
"We stay all alone in the bushes. There is no way that one can be guaranteed safety when attacked by animals or human beings," the guard said.
Police PRO Superintendent Wendy Hleta said the issue of the buffalo was dealt with by the Big Game Parks who have more details on the incident.
They were, however, not available for comment yesterday as their offices are closed on Sundays.
Recently, Dr Xolani Dlamini, the Director of Livestock and Veterinary Services reported the discovery of foot and mouth disease positive buffaloes around Jozini in South Africa.
He said the discovery was a threat to Swaziland because the disease could spread easily into the kingdom.
Dlamini sounded an alarm that the issue was a serious one because buffaloes were carriers of the disease.
"The discovery of FMD positive buffaloes in South Africa is a sign that the disease might spread into Swaziland anytime if safety measures are not taken by farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture," Dlamini said.
According to the online publication, TheDairySite.com, the disease had been reported in Mpumalanga’s cattle population.
"A total of 4 509 cattle showed signs of susceptibility to the outbreaks, out of which 32 cases were identified. No deaths were reported and no animals were destroyed and/or slaughtered.
"The outbreaks are within the protection zone of South Africa’s FMD control zone. Cattle in this zone are vaccinated against FMD.
"Vaccination for FMD is prohibited in the rest of South Africa.
"Contact with wild animal species has been sourced as the main cause of the outbreak," the site reported.
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