The 2 veterinarians had generously offered their services voluntarily to support the LSGD network during their visit to Botswana. During the 4 days of the clinics the team sterilized 18 LSGD’s in Southern and Western Botswana. All the dogs did well after surgery and were soon back to work with their respective herds and the farmers were greatly appreciative of the service. Due to the vast areas covered, the majority of the dogs were brought to central locations each day for surgery ranging from kraals at cattle posts to vacant houses in town. Our team covered 800 km (500 miles) in just a few days. This required a lot of manpower collecting and returning dogs to their farms after the surgeries. The big challenge is reaching dogs working farther afield in very remote areas.
CCB has held 6 clinics for the LSGD network to date. This was CCB’s first clinic with the support of international veterinarians and also the first that went on the road to several locations. It was effective, well received and a great learning experience allowing us to fine tune this important and popular farmer support service.
Although an overall success, we believe it can be improved. A 4x4 mobile unit could be used to reach dogs in outlying farms and decrease the set up and take down times of the surgical site. This would make it possible to carry out the veterinary care on site at the farm or cattlepost and remove the need for transporting dogs to and from the central veterinary care site. It also makes it possible to attend to several dogs in a day in different farming areas of the country. We are currently seeking donations towards this positive development.
CCB will continue to provide veterinary support for these important guardians of livestock and work towards promoting this and other methods of effective management that can facilitate a more sustainable future for Botswana’s rangelands.
Many thanks are due to Munir and Jim for sharing their skills and time with CCB. Both veterinarians are also excellent photographers so we received some great photos and advice, as well as a video camera from Munir to record our ongoing activities. Thankyou!