Movement of cattle banned in Zambezi

Herma Prinsloo
ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

The movement of all cloven-hooved animals in the Zambezi Region has been banned to stop the further spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

The chief veterinary officer in the agriculture ministry, Dr Albertina Shilongo, said the FMD outbreak was detected in the region on 27 May and confirmed on 3 June in the FMD-infected zone at Kasenu village in the Kabbe South Constituency.

“To date, the disease has spread to four other crush pens / villages in the same constituency, namely Luhonono, Namiyundu, Ikaba and Nankutwe, infecting 795 cattle in total.”

Shilongo said the source of the FMD infection is suspected to be either contact of cattle with free-roaming buffaloes in the area or smuggling of infected cattle from neighbouring countries.

However, the investigation to ascertain the source of infection is ongoing.

According to her the spread of the disease to other villages is due to movement of livestock to areas in the flood plain in search of better grazing.

In line with the Animal Health Act, the Kabbe South Constituency has been declared a FMD-infected area and the entire Zambezi Region declared a Disease Management Area (DMA).

Control measures

Shilongo said several control measures have been instituted and will be in force for 14 days from 9 July.

After 14 days, the control measures will be reviewed and the public will be notified accordingly.

The measures include a ban on the movement of all cloven-hoofed animals out, in and through the DMA.

All previously issued permits into and out of the DMA have been cancelled and recalled.

Cloven-hoofed animals are animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and some wild animals.

Furthermore, the movement of potentially infectious commodities out, within and through the DMA such as raw meat, raw milk, hides, skins, game trophies, grass and plant materials, with the exception of potted plants, has also been banned.

Shilongo said the slaughtering of cloven-hoofed animals at local markets and the intake of cattle into quarantine centres have also been suspended.

“Emergency vaccination of cattle against FMD has commenced in high-risk areas and it is progressing well. So far 68 544 out of 75 000 cattle have been vaccinated, representing 93 % of the targeted cattle population.”

She added that the slaughtering of cloven-hoofed animals for own consumption and for social events such as funerals and weddings within a community (village) is still allowed, however, the meat or any raw product from the slaughtered animal is not allowed to be moved out of the community or village.

The movement of raw meat and livestock feed into the DMA is also allowed, provided that sufficient evidence is provided as proof that such product was obtained/sourced outside the DMA.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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