Utilisation of indigenous knowledge to control ticks in goats: a case of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa


Local indigenous knowledge (IK) informs decision-making about fundamental aspects of life. The inclusion of indigenous knowledge is increasingly becoming a topical subject to enhance livestock veterinary care. The objective of the current study was to explore the extent of utilisation of indigenous knowledge to control ticks in goats. There was an association (P < 0.05) between the use of IK and gender, with males using IK (76.58%) more than females. The association between age distribution and IK use was (P < 0.05); however, farmers above the age of 50 years were using IK more than all group ages. Farmers ranked the purposes of using IK differently (P < 0.05). Ectoparasites were ranked as the most important constraint limiting goat productivity. Ticks were ranked as the most important external parasites. Amblyomma tick species were ranked as the most important amongst the tick species, followed by Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi ticks. A significant population of farmers (80.7%) are dependent on the use of tick sprays, whereas others used injections (3.3%). Cissus quadrangularis L. (Inhlashwana) was singled out as the most used ethno-veterinary plant to control ticks with a frequency of (64%), followed by Gomphocarpus physocarpus E. Mey (Uphehlacwathi) (55.9%). The probability of keeping goats in wet rangelands (P < 0.05) was 3.04 times more likely to influence the extent of IK use compared to their contemporaries in the dry rangeland. Male farmers keeping goats (P < 0.01) were 2.95 more likely to influence the extent of use of IK than females. The type of rangeland, gender, age, residing on farm and also having the herbalist in the locality were the most common factors that influenced the extent of IK utilisation.

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Availability of data and material

The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available due to cooperating producer privacy and confidentiality, but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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The authors appreciate the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus for providing the logistics needed for the study. We are grateful to the community of Jozini and livestock keepers for their contribution throughout the study. Co-operation of participants and the chairperson of Jozini Livestock Association, Mr M. Nkosi, is greatly acknowledged.


The study was funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of the Republic of South Africa at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Project name: Exploring indigenous knowledge systems, GUN: 112406). The funding covered all the aspect of logistics from data collection, analysis and the writing of the manuscript.

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MVM, SZN and MC designed the study; MVM and SZN collected the data; MVM interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to M. Chimonyo.

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The experimental procedures were performed according to the written ethical guidelines specified by the Certification of Authorization to Experiment on Living Humans provided by the Social Sciences—Humanities & Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee (Reference No: HSS/0852/017).

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Mkwanazi, M.V., Ndlela, S.Z. & Chimonyo, M. Utilisation of indigenous knowledge to control ticks in goats: a case of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Trop Anim Health Prod 52, 1375–1383 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-02145-0

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  • Diseases
  • ethno-veterinary remedies
  • sustainability
  • parasites