Ministry may move livestock

IN the wake of losses to livestock caused by the prolonged dry spell in the Western Division, the Ministry of Agriculture may transfer productive livestock to the Central Division if the situation does not improve in a few weeks time.

This was highlighted by principal agricultural officer West Vinesh Kumar in a status update on the dry spell that has had a significant impact on agriculture and livestock in the division.

Losses to livestock have been reported throughout the West with the Nawaicoba Research Station outside of Nadi confirming that six sheep had died so far.

“The situation is cut and carry and the stockmen travel as far as Vuda to fetch grass,” he said.

The Sigatoka Research Station along Valley Rd has also reported the loss of nine goats, with pasture for grazing succumbing to fires.

“Preliminary investigations have revealed that though the dry spell may be a contributing factor for the deaths, their deaths are not primarily because of starvation or dehydration.

“One has to note that during the dry spell, animals are under stress and in certain cases, they become malnourished and are vulnerable to secondary infections, diseases and worms.”

This has subsequently caused a drop in milk production, which has reduced from 4.5 litres to three litres of milk per cow.

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