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Gov't Asked to Zone Usage of Acaricides to Curb Resistance

For quite some time, farmers in the cattle corridor have been reporting a prevalence of ticks that do not respond to the available acaricides. But Sembabule District Production and Marketing Officer Dr Emmanuel Kalungi Kawooya explains that the resistance is largely due to inappropriate application of Acaricides by farmers.
File Photo; Heads of cattle drinking water at Wabbale dam in Nakasongola district.

Audio 3

The government has been advised to consider zoning the use of synthetic pyrethroids to address tick resistance to acaricides.  The chemicals are often applied on the body of an animal to treat external parasites like ticks, lice, fleas and nuisance flies, among others.

For quite some time, farmers in the cattle corridor have been reporting a prevalence of ticks that do not respond to the available acaricides. But Sembabule District Production and Marketing Officer Dr Emmanuel Kalungi Kawooya explains that the resistance is largely due to inappropriate application of Acaricides by farmers.

Kawooya, a Senior Agro-Veterinary Pharmacist says that their analysis as a department has indicated that many farmers, even far and beyond Sembabule have for so long used the same class of Acaricides, which ticks have got used to, hence developing resistance which is distressing to both animals at the farmers. 

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Cue out…. become resistant.”//   

According to the National Drug authority, tick resistance often results from improper use of acaricides, lack of proper gadgets for spraying, inadequate extension services, self-prescription of acaricides by farmers, prolonged use of one molecule of acaricides, mixing of different molecules of acaricides by farmers, and under-dosing, among others. 

Dr Kawooya says that they have also noted scenarios of replication where farmers are freely interchanging the various groups of acaricides hence creating multiple resistance of ticks to the various types of synthetic pyrethroids available on the market. 

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Cue out…. another class.”//   

According to him, out hopelessness and reluctance to seek scientific guidance from Veterinary Officers and their Assistants at districts and sub-county levels respectively, many farmers have ignorantly continued to practice inappropriate habits including the use of poisonous concoctions hence escalating the problem. 

Dr Kawooya recommends that the Ministry of Agriculture introduces a guiding policy on the sale and usage of a common type of Acaricides to specific zones such that a homogenous combination is used in a given area at a time. He explains that such an approach can scientifically help in controlling ticks for a longer period of times as the arachnid parasites will not easily develop resistance to all available types of Acaricides.   

Billy Magondo, a livestock farmer in Rugushuulu sub-county, Sembabule district has also challenged the government to consider eliminating private dealers from the importation and supply of drugs and acaricides in order to stop the problem of counterfeits that are messing up the sector.   

But the State Minister in Charge of Animal Husbandry Bright Rwamirama says that the government is working on a comprehensive strategy of fighting the ticks.  

In the meantime, he has asked the Production and Agricultural Officers within the cattle corridor to consider an alternative of developing and ensuring well-coordinated spraying schedules for all farmers to simultaneously suppress the ticks.   

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Cue in… the ticks.”//