FMD outbreak in Zambezi

03 September 2019 | Agriculture

An outbreak of the viral foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has been detected in the Zambezi Region but it remains contained in a small area.

The agriculture ministry's directorate of veterinary services announced last week that the outbreak was confirmed on 11 August at Sigwe village.

Surveillance in the area within a 30 km radius of Sigwe established that the outbreak has not spread.

A total of 3 934 out of 4 125 cattle (95%) were vaccinated at Sigwe village. Vaccinations were extended to a 30 km radius around the village on 26 August.

The directorate estimates that around 40 000 cattle are at risk and will be vaccinated by 4 September.

Further, in line with Namibia's animal health law, the area within the 30 km radius around Sigwe was declared a controlled area.

Crush pens in the area are located at Kalala, Kasika, Impalila, Kabukubula, Ivilivinzi and several other villages.

A number of control measures remain in place, including a ban on the movement of all cloven-hooved animals into, out of, and through the controlled area. Cloven-hoofed animals include cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and their products. A number of patrol teams are active in the controlled area and roadblocks will be set up at strategic places.

All farmers in the affected area are urged to take their cattle to designated crush pens for vaccination, as re-vaccinations of all cattle are recommended.

Activities still permitted include the movement of raw meat and raw milk within the Zambezi Region, including the controlled area.

Moreover, movement of grass within the Zambezi Region is allowed but grass is not allowed to leave the controlled area.

Movement of hides, skins, game trophies and plant materials into, out of, within and through the rest of the Zambezi Region is allowed, with the exception of the controlled areas and provided that appropriate procedures are followed.

Slaughtering of animals at local abattoirs and markets in the region is allowed, except in the controlled areas.

FMD is a viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals and is found in all excretions and secretions of infected animals, such as milk, urine, dung and semen, as well as meat. It is not transmissible to humans and not a public health risk.

Clinical signs of infection include salivation, no appetite, limping, reluctance to move, fever, blisters and ulcers on the tongue, gum and feet and hooves.


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