Gov’t kills 120 invading buffaloes

Troublesome: 56 buffaloes have been captured and relocated to the Chobe National Park PIC: EXPERT AFRICA
Troublesome: 56 buffaloes have been captured and relocated to the Chobe National Park PIC: EXPERT AFRICA

Government has killed 120 buffaloes following the invasion of more than 200 into northern villages last month, the Ministry of Agriculture has revealed. Addressing the media this week, Minister of Agriculture, Fidelis Molao, disclosed that the 120 buffaloes were killed mostly on humane grounds as they were too weak to be moved.

He also said some buffaloes were killed after separating from the main herd, which made it difficult to capture them. The minister said 56 buffaloes have been captured and relocated to the Chobe National Park. “A total of 51 buffalo carcasses were found in the bushes assumedly after succumbing to thirst and malnutrition,” he further revealed. Molao also indicated that the last buffaloes were removed on October 8, 2023. Giving a background on the buffaloes invasion, Molao said on September 9, 2023, an estimated herd of 150-200 buffaloes were reported in disease control Zones 3c and 6a. He said analysis of the situation indicate that the buffalo likely originate from Hwange National Park (in Zimbabwe) and had traversed through Zone 3b after gaining access through breeches caused by elephants on the cordon fences.

He pointed out that emergency response was launched in accordance with the standard operation procedure (SOP) for management of buffaloes incursions in FMD free areas and included suspension of livestock movement, removal of the buffaloes, and disease surveillance. “Movement of cloven hoofed animals in Zones 3b, 3c, and adjacent 6a and zones of 5 and 8 has been suspended except for direct slaughter in order to facilitate disease surveillance. The Department of Veterinary Services is collaborating with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), the Botswana Police Services (BPS) and the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) to remove the buffaloes from the 3 zones. Due to the large number of animals, it was decided to relocate the buffalo to the Chobe National Park. Both ground teams and aerial (helicopter) teams have been deployed,” he said. However, Molao said the search continues to verify that there are no buffaloes hiding in the bushes. “Disease surveillance has commenced including ante-mortem inspections at abattoirs and health inspections of at risk cattle herds. So far the disease has not been detected in livestock,” he said.

Editor's Comment
Government’s efforts commendable!

Since the news broke, the government made sure to work hand in hand with the South African government to assist the families of the victims. The two countries came together to help the families identify the bodies of their loved ones through DNA testing. The government also announced that they would assist families with food for mourners before the funerals.Even though the deceased persons were mostly residents of Molepolole, the government...

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