Industry stands together against FMD

10 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



An emergency meeting was called by the Meat Board of Namibia last week to discuss the outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in the Kavango West Region.

The veterinary authorities reported the outbreak in cattle at Sivara in the Kapako constituency at the end of October, while in Kavango East, FMD has spread to the Shighuru village in the Mashare constituency.

The FMD outbreak was first detected on 28 September at Hoha village in Ndiyona in Kavango East.

According to the Namibian Agriculture Union (NAU), the Meat Board requested Livestock Producers' Organisation (LPO) to take responsibility for the speedy repair of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF), as was done in 2015 during the previous outbreak of FMD north of the fence.

The NAU said that the Meat Board and government will provide the necessary material, while producers were requested to supply their time and labour.

The union said producers again declared their willingness to immediately start with the repair work during a regional meeting of the Grootfontein-Tsumeb-Otavi Regional Agricultural Union.

“They, however, voiced their dislike at the lack of maintenance of the VCF by the responsible party.”



Long-term solution needed

The LPO's reserve fund will be used to reimburse the producers.

NAU president, Piet Gouws, has contacted agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein to discuss the matter and according to the union, Schlettwein has indicated that funds have been obtained to ensure these control measures and thanked the producers for their positive attitude.

Gouws requested the minister to find a long-term solution to the irregular maintenance of the VCF.

The LPO is currently initiating an emergency fund and farmers' associations are requested to consider what their contribution and participation could be. More information regarding this will be communicated at a later stage.

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