Communal cattle farmer’s knowledge, attitudes and practices on ticks (Acari: Ixodidae), tick control and acaricide resistance

Abstract

The aim of this study was to reveal communal farmer’s knowledge, attitudes and practice on ticks and tick-borne diseases affecting cattle, tick control methods used and their knowledge on acaricide resistance. A total of 160 structured questionnaires are prepared and randomly administered to cattle farmers in Sinqu and Elundini communities in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Associations between the area, gender, age, employment, source of income, level of education and farming experience were statistically tested using Chi-square test. Gall sickness (63%) was the most prevailing tick-borne disease in cattle during the summer season (61%). About 59% of the farmers had no knowledge of the effect of tick-borne diseases on cattle production, and 78% of respondents reported that ticks are the major challenge to cattle farming. Pour-on (61%) was the most commonly used acaricidal treatment system with every fortnight (40%) treatment frequency during the summer season and (31%) during the winter season. Pyrethroids (73%) were the most used acaricide compounds to control ticks, and about 65% of respondents perceived to have no knowledge of the use of ethnoveterinary medicines used to control ticks. Inefficacy of acaricide (44%) and undipped animals (42%) were regarded as the major contributing factors to the increased tick population and acaricide resistance. About 85% of respondents perceived that they do not practice acaricide rotation and 88% of the respondents had no knowledge of the acaricide resistance. Within the context of this study, ticks and tick-associated diseases are perceived by these farmers as the most important disease problem their cattle face. Thus, knowledge regarding the epidemiology of ticks and tick-borne diseases is key to control strategies, and farmer training should be encouraged to achieve better control of ticks and the diseases they transmit.

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Acknowledgements

We express our thanks to the Joe Gqabi District, Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), for their assistance during this study. We are grateful to the farmers who participated during the collection of the data.

Funding

We value the financial support from National Research Foundation (NRF) (Grant number: 102941) for this study.

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Correspondence to Nkululeko Nyangiwe.

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Yawa, M., Nyangiwe, N., Jaja, I.F. et al. Communal cattle farmer’s knowledge, attitudes and practices on ticks (Acari: Ixodidae), tick control and acaricide resistance. Trop Anim Health Prod (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-020-02319-1

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Keywords

  • Acaricide resistance
  • Cattle farmers
  • Epidemiology
  • Tick-borne diseases
  • Ticks control