Ruminant livestock play an important role in providing animal proteins and income for the vast majority of the Ethiopian community. There is an increased demand for animal protein but the productivity of ruminant livestock is not in pace with this demand. This is because livestock is raised under various production systems in diverse agro-climatic zones. These influence the distribution and abundance of various vector species and vector-born diseases specially ticks and tick-born infections such as heartwater. Information from literature shows that in areas where favourable conditions exist for Amblyoma ticks there is problem of heartwater. For many years heartwater has been incriminated to cause morbidity and mortalities throughout Ethiopia. Outbreaks were reported from various regions. For instance mortality of 25% was experienced in dairy farms with a well documented report of high mortality of cross-bred cattle at Abernosa ranch. Mortalities due to suspected cases of heartwater in indigenous Horro lambs in western Ethiopia and cross-bred and local cattle in central and northern Ethiopia were observed. The occurrence of heartwater impedes the genetic improvement of local ruminant species. Movement of ruminants from drier and low risk heartwater areas to endemic areas can lead to high mortality, even affecting draft oxen and impair crop production. It curtails the productivity of ruminant industry and has negative impact on food security. However, the epidemiology of the disease and the genetic diversity of the agent have not yet been investigated in Ethiopia.
|Effective start/end date||1/07/11 → 16/05/18|
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