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Many rural communities are often affected by diseases that can be transmitted between wildlife and domestic animals.

Victoria Falls Animal Health and Welfare Centre: building community networks

The Victoria Falls Community Animal Health & Welfare Centre, situated in the rural village of Ntabayengwe, 15km from Victoria Falls, opened its doors in 2016. The Centre serves the rural community as a facility to treat their domestic animals and livestock, and so improve the welfare of animals and the livelihoods of the people living alongside wildlife. It is managed by Drs Chris Foggin and Tracey Manning, and staffed by Veterinarian, Dr Isaac Moyo, and Assistant Themba Moyo.

The fully fenced centre is equipped to deal with a range of veterinary procedures. We have an operating theatre, examination room, storeroom, office, bathroom and kitchen. Outside are five kennels, several large animal pens, water troughs and a dog dipping station. Power is provided by solar energy and municipal water stored in a 2500 litre tank to ensure a regular supply.

Treatment - which is free - ranges from disease and parasite control, sterilizations, dipping and wound care. Animals can be kept overnight should they require prolonged treatment. As the community lives alongside wildlife, conflict sometimes occurs. Animals are treated for attacks by lions, hyenas and baboons, making retaliatory attacks less likely. Also, if subsistence farmers are able to have healthy livestock as a source of income or protein, they are less likely to resort to poaching.

Our vaccination programme - rabies and distemper - protects the community and their animals from diseases that can be transmitted by wildlife and vice versa.

The VAWZ vehicle enables the veterinary team to carry out vaccination campaigns further afield, as well as collect injured or sick animals for treatment.

Education is vital and every opportunity is used to show animal owners how to properly care for and treat their animals.

Donkey Welfare Workshops are held at the Centre. Badly made and ill fitting equipment that stresses and causes injury to donkeys is replaced and owners educated in its proper use. Reflective collars are provided to reduce the likelihood of road accidents. Donkeys are dewormed, and any injuries and hooves that need attention are dealt with.

Dr Moyo has successfully completed the demanding Chemical and Physical Restraint of African Wildlife course, earning his Dangerous Drugs License and so enabling him to dart wildlife needing assistance.

 

Dr Moyo’s Report for 2019

2019 was another positive year for us. The purchase of a vehicle in June enabled us to extend the range of our work significantly and we expanded our work range by 90km to new areas such as Sidinda, Lumbora and Kanywambizi.

875 cases - 553 dogs, 19 donkeys, 137 cattle, 118 goats and 35 cats. This included treatment for injuries from road accidents, dog fights and lion, hyena and baboon attacks: snakes bites: pink eye: mange: TVT (sexually transmitted cancer); and lumpy skin disease.

135 dogs were sterilized - 53 neuters and 82 spays.

16 stray cats from Victoria Falls town were sterilised through our Trap, Neuter and Release program (TNR).

1379 dogs were vaccinated against rabies at the centre and out in the field.

992 dogs were vaccinated against distemper on a door-to-door campaign in reaction to a distemper outbreak.

257 donkeys were brought to two Donkey Welfare Workshops, run together with the Matabeleland Animal Rescue and Equine Sanctuary (MARES). 58 harnesses and 93 reflective collars were handed out to donkey owners. Donkeys were dewormed and given medical treatment where needed. A farrier attended to hooves.

22 kittens and 3 dogs were successfully rehomed.

 


The African Wildlife Conservation Fund is a registered trust in Zimbabwe (Registered Trust Number 0000476/2012). Our mission is to maintain healthy and viable populations of African wild dogs and other large carnivores in Zimbabwe, as well as the habitats and prey species on which they depend. We achieve this through a combination of research, conservation and education, with a focus on improving school education standards and community livelihoods around key protected areas. Click here to visit the African Wildlife Conservation Fund.

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