An ethno-veterinary survey of plants used to treat certain bacterial diseases of livestock in three geographical areas of the Eastern Cape was conducted during 2013 to 2014. A purposive sampling technique was carried out using a semi-structured questionnaire and field observations to document indigenous knowledge in 48 communal households. From the respondents of the 48 households, 64.6% men and 35.4% women were interviewed regarding their knowledge on the use of plants for the treatment of bacterial diseases in livestock. Ten, eighteen and twenty respondents were surveyed at Goso, Ciko and Upper Ngqumeya, respectively. Six plants species, belonging to 6 families were documented and claimed by farmers to be used for the treatment of black quarter and paratyphoid in cattle. Results obtained showed that Agapanthus praecox Willd., Sarcophyte sanguinea and Olea europaea subsp. africana were used to treat black quarter, while Strychnos henningsii, Acokanthera oppositifolia and Dalbergia obovata were used to treat “perceived” paratyphoid in calves. Bark and leaves were the commonly used plant parts. Decoction and infusion were the main methods of preparation, while oral administration was the common route for treatment. Determination of the dose was done by using certain size bottles and plant parts by the handful as measurements. In the light of the present data, it can be concluded that, medicinal plants play a role in healthcare of livestock in rural communities.
Key words: Cattle diseases, communal, farmers, Eastern Cape, medicinal plants.
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