Zimbabwean villagers attempt to acquire anthrax vaccine

A group of villagers from western Zimbabwe have reportedly started an effort to acquire preventative vaccines against anthrax infection for livestock.

Villagers from Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe, are working with officials from the Veterinary Services Department to ensure that the disease remains in check within their lands, according to Newsday.co.za.

"This year, we are looking at ways to stop the outbreak of anthrax in the area after the catastrophe that happened last year," Tsholotsho senator Believe Gaule said, Newsday.co.za reports.

Last year, the Zimbabwean government was forced to ban cattle sales and transportation across the region in order to forestall the spread of an anthrax outbreak.

"We are working with the Department of Veterinary Services to avoid the outbreak of anthrax in Tsholotsho by conducting wide-scale vaccinations of livestock in the area," Gaule said, according to Newsday.co.za. "We are planning on coming up with a system whereby residents from different wards will contribute something towards stopping an anthrax outbreak."

Last year's outbreak, centered in Mana Pools National Park in the lower Zambezi valley, killed more than 150 wild animals, including 88 hippopotamuses and 45 elephants. Officials from the Department of Veterinary Services sealed the area off and burned the animal carcasses in order to halt the infection, according to AllAfrica.com.