Article history: Received: 21-09-2017, Accepted: 15-12-2017, Published online: 21-01-2018
Corresponding author: Isack Ibrahim Kerario
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgCitation: Kerario II, Simuunza M, Laisser ELK, Chenyambuga S (2018) Exploring knowledge and management practices on ticks and tick-borne diseases among agro-pastoral communities in Southern highlands, Tanzania, Veterinary World, 11(1): 48-57.
Aim: The current study was conducted to assess the farmers' knowledge and management practices on ticks and tick-borne diseases (TBDs) through individual interview using a structured questionnaire in Mbarali and Momba districts of Mbeya region.
Materials and Methods: A total of 240 households, 120 from each district were asked to mention TBDs of cattle which they thought were the most important in their localities and period of the year when the diseases occurred more frequently. In addition, farmers were asked to describe clinical signs and management practices associated with the common TBDs that they knew.
Results: The majority of respondents (46.2%) reported that East Coast fever (ECF) was the most important disease of cattle in the region, followed by anaplasmosis (33.8%), heartwater (15.4%), and babesiosis (4.6%). According to the farmers, ECF and anaplasmosis occurred more frequently during the dry season, while babesiosis and heartwater occurred more frequently during the rainy season. The majority of farmers were able to describe properly the signs of the common TBDs. Most farmers (80.4%) reported that they used acaricide to control ticks at a frequency of after every 2 weeks and a small proportion (15.8%) vaccinated their animals against ECF.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that farmers in Mbeya have considerable knowledge on tick species and clinical signs of TBDs affecting their cattle. Based on the findings of the current study, it is recommended that integrated approach to the control of ticks and TBDs be adopted in the study area and many other areas that utilize agro-pastoral and pastoral cattle production systems.
Keywords: acaricide, cattle, East Coast fever, indigenous knowledge.
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