Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 733–739 | Cite as

Milk producers’ awareness of milk-borne zoonoses in selected smallholder and commercial dairy farms of Zimbabwe

  • Diphetogo Mosalagae
  • Davies Mubika Pfukenyi
  • Gift Matope
Original Research


A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted to assess milk producers’ awareness of milk-borne zoonoses in selected smallholder and commercial dairy farms of Zimbabwe. The questionnaire was designed to obtain information on dairy breeds, milk production, dairy farmers’ knowledge and awareness of zoonoses with particular emphasis on milk-borne zoonoses and farmers’ behavioural practices that may lead to increased risk of milk-borne zoonoses transmission. A total of 119 dairy farmers were interviewed, and 41.5% were aware of milk-borne zoonoses with a significantly (P < 0.01) higher percentage of commercial dairy farmers (65.0%) being aware compared to smallholder dairy farmers (36.7%). The behavioural practices of dairy farmers observed to increase the risk of milk-borne zoonoses transmission were; consumption of raw milk (68.1%), sale of raw milk to the local public (25.2%), lack of cooling facilities by smallholder farmers (98%), and no routine testing (84.9%) and medical check-ups (89.1%) for milk-borne zoonoses. General hygienic and disease control practices need to be integrated in the milk production process particularly at the smallholder level. Awareness, teaching and training programmes for smallholder dairy farmers can improve disease control in animals and reduce the public health risk of milk-borne zoonoses.


Awareness Dairy sectors Milk-borne zoonoses Milk producers Zimbabwe 



The authors are grateful to SADC/ICART and NADF/Stabex’95 programme which funded this study and to the dairy farmers who participated in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diphetogo Mosalagae
    • 1
  • Davies Mubika Pfukenyi
    • 2
  • Gift Matope
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural ResearchGaboroneBotswana
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Veterinary StudiesUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe
  3. 3.Department of Paraclinical Veterinary StudiesUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe

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