The Brown ear tick and African blue tick remain a huge challenge for farmers in Uganda especially those in South Western Uganda districts. They are Kiruhura, Isingiro, Kyegegwa, Mbarara and their neighboring districts.
Research carried out by the Makerere College of veterinary medicine, animal resources and biosecurity indicates that these ticks are resistant to synthetic pyrethroids that are supposed to naturally kill them.
Dr Patrick Vudriko, a clinical and experimental pharmacologist says the resistance is caused genetically when a farmer uses the same pesticide over a long period of time. Vudriko says the ticks have become are big economic constraint to the development of livestock in the country.
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This was disclosed during joint meeting involving officials from the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries that was convened by the National Drug Authority to find ways of ensuring the right pesticides are on the market.
Dr Gordon Ssematiko, the Executive Director National Drug Authority said the major problem facing livestock farmers in the country include the irrational use of acaricides which includes wrong choices, poor mixture using mud water, application, use of wrong applicators and use of one pesticide type for a long time.
The meeting also noted that some farmers do not consult veterinary personnel and buy pesticides from unqualified dispensers who are employed by their relatives and cannot advise farmers accordingly.
Some farmers also apply the pesticide in a semicircular form that does not allow spraying the ticks on the animal fully. The other challenge that remains is adulterated pesticides sold to farmers in the open market.
Bright Rwamirama the State Minister for Animal Industry and Fisheries says as they meet to discuss solutions to deal with ticks, they cannot leave the problem in the hands of farmers alone.
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But Dr Vudriko says there are methods that can be used to stop the ticks from spreading.