Famers in the districts of Ankole sub-region have been advised to always seek professional services and follow manufacturers’ guidelines in drug application.
The advice was given by Abiaz Rwamwiri, the communications manager of the National Drug Authority (NDA).
Rwamwiri said many farmers have continued to experience challenges related to tick-acaricide resistance because they are not following guidelines from their veterinary experts.
He said livestock farmers should ensure they spray the whole animal, around ears and tail areas and that they should spray all animals on the farm, including dogs and use proper equipment.
Rwamwiri also informed them that spray pumps should provide enough pressure while spraying and that they should avoid relying on jerrycans as these gives inaccurate measurements.
He added that they should examine and spray all newly-introduced animals on the farm.
Dr Keneth Kiiza, the NDA regional manager for southwestern region, encouraged farmers to always buy acaricides from NDA-licensed drug outlets to avoid counterfeited products and that they should practise controlled grazing to reduce the risk of spread between farms.
Recently, farmers in Rwampara, Kazo, Kiruhura and other cattle corridor districts reported experiencing increasing cases of animal blindness resulting from improper use of drugs, notably mixing animal drugs with agrochemicals to kill ticks.
The commonest agrochemical being used by farmers to control ticks in animals is Dudu Acelamectin.
Rwamwiri warned farmers that the product contains a molecule called abamectin that is present in another class of lactones which is not yet widely used in Uganda. He explained that Abamectin falls under the avermectin family of the macrocyclic lactones.
The abamectin in agrochemicals is specifically formulated for use in plants but not animals.
Kiiza cautioned that inappropriate use of the product could lead to residues of abamectin in milk and meat, which could pose a risk to public health and lead to blindness in animals.
However, some farmers claim the extension workers have not done enough to equip them with enough knowledge on proper use of drugs.
In Kiruhura district, farmers also testified to be using agrochemicals in spraying animals. Kiruhura has animal population of over 380,000 cattle, 178,000 goats and 6000 sheep.
These attributed the problem of tick-acaricide risistance to fake drugs on the market. They also said they are not given trainings and farmers are using their local knowledge in drugs application, including mixing with agrochemicals.
Mbarara district veterinary officer Dr Andrew Akashaba recently decried increasing illegal vets in the district.
Akashaba said the district doesn’t have more than 12 licensed and registered veterinary practitioners, but there are many impersonating as veterinary workers treating people’s animals.