Isingiro Leaders Divided Over Extended Quarantine

1975 Views Isingiro District, Uganda

In short
Politicians and technocrats in Isingiro district have disagreed over a partial quarantine put in place 10 years ago to contain foot and mouth disease.

 Politicians and technocrats in Isingiro district have disagreed over a partial quarantine put in place 10 years ago to contain foot and mouth disease.

With the disease incidence subsiding, a group of politicians led by Jeremiah Kamurali the district council five chairperson, have started mobilising locals to start the sale and movement of animals.

Kamurali claims that the technocrats are benefiting from the quarantine at the expense of the farmers. He says that the farmers have not been seeing the benefits of livestock farming for years due to the quarantine and that it is time for the quarantine to be lifted.

Kamurali says that rich farmers who can afford to own loading sites and hire veterinary doctors for screening are the ones benefiting at the expense of the poor.

He asks the locals to open the markets come October 30th, adding that no vaccination has been done and thus no need to keep the markets closed.

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However the Isingiro district veterinary officer Dr. Bruhan Kasozi says that the remarks by the chairperson and his team are misleading. He says that the district has not yet wiped out foot and mouth disease and therefore markets cannot reopen.

Kasozi says that opening the markets at the time when they are slowly but surely checking the spread of the disease will be a clear indication that all their efforts for the last 10 years have been put to waste.
 
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According to the Animal Diseases Act, only the commissioner in charge of animal health  is mandated to lift a quarantine. Any person who defies the quarantine faces a fine of 2 million shillings or 2 years in prison or both.
 
The fights between politicians have instead left farmers confused.
  
Alex Turyamuboona, a resident of Kabuyanda town council says that he would like to sell off his animals but is confused by the conflicting messages from the district leaders.
Jonathan Babiha, another farmer from Birere sub county told our reporter that the business community may take advantage of the confusion and start selling the animals illegally.
 
He says that there is need for the politicians and technocrats to come up with a harmonised stand on the matter.