Kamwenge district leaders have imposed a ban on the movement of livestock following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the area. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that the global annual cost of FMD in terms of production losses and the need for prevention by vaccination is approximately 5 billion dollars.
Kamwenge district leaders have imposed a ban on the movement of livestock following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the area.
Foot and Mouth Disease is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals, including sheep, goats, cattle, buffalo and pigs. It causes serious production losses and can be lethal, particularly to younger animals.
The disease has been reported in the sub counties of Buremba and Nkungu in Kamwenge, Mpara in Kyegegwa and some areas in Kiruhura district.
In a letter dated June 22, 2012, Dr. Alfred Kamanyire, the district veterinary officer, directed the closure of all livestock markets in Kibale County and instituted 24 hour surveillance.
Dr. Kamanyire said the imposition of the quarantine on livestock was reached after having consultations with the Commissioner for Disease Control in the Directorate of animal resources in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fisheries, who said this will be one of the ways to control the disease.
The restrictions include the closure of all livestock markets, banning the movement of livestock and its products in and out of the district.
Dr. Kamanyire added that money-minded people have move animals through Katonga wildlife reserve targeting markets in Kibale County.
He has ordered sub county authorities, community members, farmers and the district leaders to implement the quarantine by being alert and reporting any person found moving the animals in the district to the veterinary workers and the police.
The quarantine is likely to affect the price of meat in the neighbouring districts of Kabarole, Kyenjojo and Kasese because the butcheries buy cattle from Rwamwanja cattle corridor.
In September last year, the ministry of agriculture issued an alert following the disease outbreak in Sanga Sub County in Kiruhura district, while in March this year district authorities in Amuria closed down all the five cattle markets in the area, following an outbreak of the disease.
Dr. Peter Chelis, the Amuria District Veterinary Officer, said more than 7, 000 animals were at risk of being infected.
In March 2011, Food and Early Warnings Network released a report indicating that 19 districts were fighting to combat foot and mouth disease. The report named the affected districts as Abim, Amudat, Amuria, Bukedea, Bukwo, Bulambuli, Gomba and Isingiro. Others mentioned were Katakwi, Kumi, Kitgum, Nakapiripirit, Pallisa, Rakai, Sembabule Serere, Sironko, Soroti and Tororo.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns that while the disease does not affect humans, it has a negative impact on poor farmers whose livelihoods often depend on just a few animals. According to FAO, the disease leads farmers to hunger and economic ruin, presenting a serious threat in many regions.
The agency estimates that the global annual cost of FMD in terms of production losses and the need for prevention by vaccination is approximately 5 billion dollars.
At the FMD conference in Bangkok, Thailand this week, FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Hiroyuki Konuma, said recent FMD outbreaks around the globe demonstrate that animal diseases have no boundaries, can have a devastating impact and require a global response.
To bring the disease under control, FAO has partnered with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to lay out a detailed global strategy which involves the strengthening of veterinary services responsible for animal disease control.
The strategy also seeks to significantly contribute to poverty reduction by increasing trade opportunities and protecting the daily incomes of the one billion poor farmers worldwide who depend on livestock.
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