The history of ticks and tick-borne diseases in cattle in Natal and Zululand (KwaZulu-Natal) from 1896 to the present.
Manamela, David Modikana Solomon.
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The main objective oft his dissertation was to identify the causes of the rise of the tick population in KwaZulu-Natal in 1999. After 100 years of intensive chemical tick control, tick numbers remain high and the stock losses caused by tick borne diseases are still significant. In South Africa legislation was introduced to support intensive chemical tick control. Ticks have consistently shown themselves to possess a genetic pool containing the potential to resist a wide range of chemical poisons. The introduction of new chemicals followed by widespread use, has often resulted in the appearance of a tick population resistant to those chemicals. The problem is compounded by the fact that some farmers are also found to be helping ticks to multiply by not following instructions given by the chemical industry on how to use dips. Chemicals which are used to control ticks are also beyond the financial means of many cattle owners especially in resource- poor communities. Apart from the high cost of intensive tick control, the chemicals that are used to destroy ticks are very poisonous, not only to ticks but to the birds which are natural predators of ticks. The negative effects of these chemicals on the environment combined with the high cost of tick control has forced a revision of intensive chemical tick control strategy. There is now a shift to use methods of tick control which are friendly to the environment and affordable to the resource-poor communities. This dissertation provides a historical overview of the problem in KwaZulu-Natal and recommendations on how to deal with the problem in future.
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