FMD outbreak in Oshana

15 January 2021 | Agriculture



The Windhoek central veterinary laboratory in Windhoek confirmed that two cases of foot and mouth disease (FMD) were detected at Ombambi crush-pen/village in the Ohangwena Region on 28 December 2020 and at Okadhiya crus-pen/village in Oshana on 6 January.

The agricultural ministry, through its chief veterinary officer Albertina Shilongo, recently declared the Olukonda constituency in Oshikoto as FMD infected after two out of five head of cattle in a herd showed clinical signs.

On Wednesday, Shilongo announced the two cases, adding that both the Okatjali and Okongo constituencies now fall under the infected areas.

She said in line with the Animal Health Act, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati and Kunene have now been declared disease management areas (DMAs) where strict measures will be instituted.

The ministry has imposed a ban on the movement of all live cloven-hoofed animals within and out of DMAs with immediate effect, Shilongo noted.

Permits cancelled

“Cloven-hoofed animals include cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and wild animals. Movement restrictions of other potentially infectious commodities out of the DMAs such as hides, skins, game trophies, grass and plant materials have also been imposed until further notice. All previously issued permits into, within and out of the DMAs are hereby cancelled and recalled,” she said.

Shilongo added that “a number of roadblocks have been set up at strategic points and patrol teams are deployed within DMAs to enforce movement restriction.

“FMD surveillance aimed at establishing the extent [of infection] in the above-mentioned regions has been intensified and farmers are requested to bring their animals for inspections whenever announced by veterinary officials”.

The ministry will use NamLits to trace all livestock movement from and into the declared infected areas.

The movement of raw meat and other animal products from FMD-free zones and from an export abattoir in Zambezi into the FMD-protection zone are permitted.

However, transit of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products through the above-mentioned regions is not allowed.

FMD is a viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals found in all excretions and secretions of infected animals.

Symptoms include salivation, not grazing, limping, reluctance to move, fever, blisters and ulcers on the tongue, gums and on the hooves.

Outbreaks ongoing

The ministry also declared an FMD outbreak in Oshikoto on 28 December 2020 at the Onamulunga crush-pen in the Olukonda Constituency.

Shilongo further confirmed that the FMD outbreaks detected last year in Kavango East and Kavango West are continuing and all control measures instituted are still applicable.

“Farmers and the general public are urged to report any suspicious livestock movement to the nearest veterinary offices in order to contain the disease,” she said.

- [email protected]

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