All provinces in the country are to benefit from the cattle-branding programme by the end of July, Assistant Commissioner Bernard Dumbura has said.
Harare is the third province to benefit since the Zimbabwe Republic Police embarked on cattle branding at national level early this year.
Police Officer Commanding Harare Province Senior Assistant Commissioner Clemence Munoriarwa officially launched the programmed dubbed Cattle branding/Muchiso pamombe/Uphawo enkomeni at St Peters Claver Primary School in Chishawasha.
Addressing farmers, stakeholders and guests, Snr Asst Comm Munoriarwa said cattle branding was meant to benefit the whole nation.
"Cattle branding is not for Harare province only but for the whole nation and everyone should participate," he said.
He said it was hoped branding would lead to a decrease in stock theft if the communities embraced the progamme.
"Success of this programme is hinged on commitment by the communities and adequate media publicity," he said.
Snr Asst Comm Munoriarwa said branding was testimony of Government's commitment to protect the national herd.
He said although there was a 19 percent decline in stock theft in Harare the figure was still high.
Snr Asst Comm Munoriarwa appealed to farmers, stakeholders and the community at large to join hands with the police in the fight against stock theft in Harare.
School children from surrounding areas participated stressing the importance of cattle branding through drama and poetry.
The idea of cattle branding was mooted after the realisation that the number of cattle stolen every year was increasing.
The veterinary services and other stakeholders are working with the police in raising awareness on the importance of cattle-branding.
The new system where cattle would be branded is expected to go a long way in curbing stocktheft that has been rampant in both farming and communal area.
The branding system, together with the deterrent measures through stiffer penalties is expected to combat stocktheft.
According to a recent legal statute enacted by Parliament, a stocktheft offender faces up to nine years imprisonment once convicted of the offence.
These are part of a cocktail of measures the State has put to arrest the stocktheft scourge that has seen many farmers losing their hard earned cattle.
Source: newsroom - meattradenewsdaily.co.uk
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