Shifting Red Line 'a long-term strategy'

13 December 2018 | Agriculture

An interim strategy has been developed to control outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs), as the shifting of the veterinary cordon fence to the Angolan border remains a long-term strategy for now.

While speaking about access to markets for livestock and livestock products, agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb said the shifting of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF) or Red Line required clear minds and a well-thought-out strategic approach.

He said gradually moving the Red Line further north to the Angolan border was a long-term strategy.

“However in the interim, a medium-term approach has been devised.”

According to !Naruseb the ministry will continue with vigorous vaccination campaigns in the NCAs to control FMD and lung sickness.

It also aims to establish “disease freedom” as far as these diseases are concerned.

!Naruseb said vaccination against FMD would be intensified in the FMD-infected zone, which covers the Zambezi Region and the Mukwe and Ndiyona constituencies in Kavango East, in order to reduce the frequency of FMD outbreaks in these areas.

These areas are prone to outbreaks because of the presence of free-roaming African buffalo that are carriers of the FMD virus.

“Moreover, the vaccinations are complemented by intensifying the surveillance of animal movements,” !Naruseb said.

He said access to markets for livestock and livestock products would be enhanced.

This will be done by establishing abattoirs in the NCAs in order to enable the movement of deboned beef from the NCAs for export to areas south of the Red Line and to regional and international markets.

Therefore, the ministry has an ongoing project to construct, upgrade and renovate all abattoirs and meat-processing facilities in the NCAs.

These are located at Opuwo, Outapi, Oshakati, Eenhana, Rundu, Katima Mulilo, Ongwediva and Bukalo.

Upgrades started at the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs on 1 September and once these are completed they will be handed over to operators.

According to !Naruseb the ministry will also establish feedlots in selected areas in the NCAs, where livestock can be fed with quality fodder supplied from a Green Scheme irrigation project to improve their condition before slaughter.

This will be done to improve the prices that communal farmers receive for their livestock.

The minister said access to markets would be increased through the compartmentalisation of certain areas along the Red Line.

The ministry has identified Karikubis in Kavango East, the Mangetti East farms in Kavango West, the Mangetti West and Onalusheshete farms in the Oshikoto Region and the Ombuga area in the Oshana Region for this compartmentalisation exercise.

The Omutambo Mawo area in Omusati and Sesfontein in the Kunene Region were identified for the creation of disease-free compartments to enable the marketing of livestock and livestock products on both sides of the Red Line.

“These compartments will be fenced off using livestock-proof double fences and the directorate of veterinary services will implement biosecurity measures to maintain disease freedom,” !Naruseb added.


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