Narissa Subramoney
Copy rewriter
1 minute read
4 Aug 2021
1:44 pm

59 North West bulls test positive for infertility-causing STD

Narissa Subramoney

The bulls carrying the disease have to be slaughtered, but are safe for human consumption, according to experts.

Bovine venereal disease threat to SA beef industry. Image: iStock

Northwest livestock farmers have been urged to test their bulls for a drug-resistant venereal disease that causes infertility.  

The warning comes after 59 bulls tested positive for Trichomoniasis out of a sample of 258. Sheath wash samples (sperm) were collected from bulls in the Mamusa, Mulopo, Naledi and Tshwaing municipalities. 

The positive samples were then taken to the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences for additional research to be conducted. The team found that affected bulls from that sample carry genetic materials that are introducing resistance to the antibiotics used to treat the disease.

“Commercial farmers are legally required to provide sheath washing samples from their bulls because this disease can cause infertility and abortion in females,” said project supervisor Prof. Mulunda Mwanza.

The bulls carrying the disease have to be slaughtered, but Mwanza says it’s safe for human consumption. He said the next step will be to consult pharmacology experts to come up with alternative treatments for the disease.