Red Line to steadily fall

07 May 2019 | Agriculture

The agricultural ministry plans to start with the process of gradually removing the veterinary cordon fence (VCF) or Red Line during the current financial year.

This is in line with the implementation of the second national land conference resolutions.

According to a technical paper by the ministry, which was submitted to parliament along with the ministry's budget motivation, the implementation will include the incorporation of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) low-risk areas in FMD-free zones.

The ministry said further that semi-commercial units will be incorporated into FMD-free zones, including in Karikubis, Kavango, Mangetti East, Tsumkwe-Otjozondjupa, Mangetti West, Oshikoto, Ombuga-Oshana, Omutambo Maowe, Omusati and Sesfontein-Kunene.

The ministry also plans to start with the movement and marketing of beef from areas that are not FMD-free to areas free from the disease, through commodity-based trade. According to the ministry, the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) will continue to implement the policy aimed at creating conditions that will allow farmers in the Northern Communal Area (NCA) to access local, regional and international markets for their animals and animal products during the current financial year.

The ministry said its planned activities will continue with the strategy and implementation plan to construct a VCF on the Namibia/Angola border in an effort to eradicate FMD.

It also plans to establish a transboundary animal disease-free zone, which will include Namibia and parts of Angola, among others.

According to the ministry, mass vaccinations against diseases such as FMD, lung sickness and rabies were also carried out during the 2018/19 financial year.

A total of 416 688 cattle were vaccinated against FMD in Namibia.

The FMD vaccinations were carried out in the infected zone and high-risk areas of the protected zone.

Furthermore, 967 598 cattle were vaccinated against lung sickness in the NCA.

The ministry said 2 940 community visits were also conducted in the NCA and 563 communities were visited south of the Red Line, while 2 216 farms were inspected last year.

An additional 159 534 cattle were also tagged in the NCA.

Meanwhile, following the launch of a rabies control pilot project during March 2016 in the Oshana Region, the initiative has now been rolled out to all eight regions in the NCA.

According to the ministry a training programme for vaccination teams has been developed and implemented. The 49 vaccination teams, comprising 417 people, have been trained in the logistics surrounding the campaign, dog-handling for vaccination best practice and data collection.

A total of 73 639 dogs and 8 024 cats were vaccinated against rabies in the NCA last year. The project has seen a major improvement in pet vaccination coverage and a decline in rabies cases.


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