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FMD breaks out in Oshikoto

FMD breaks out in Oshikoto

Niël Terblanché

 

THE Onamulunga Village in the Oshikoto Region has become the latest site where Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) has been detected in cattle.

 

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform in a statement, has announced that the FMD case was detected at a crush pen used by farmers in the area on 28 December 2020.

 

Two heads of cattle in a herd of five displayed clinical signs for FMD during physical examinations by veterinary officials.

 

In line with the Animal Health Act, Act 1 of 2011, the Olukonda Constituency where the crush pen is situated, has been declared an infected area.

 

Since the outbreak was first detected late last year, the Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati, and Kunene regions have been declared as the disease management areas where FMD control measures have been instituted.

 

The measures include a complete restriction on the movement of all live cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and wildlife within and out of the affected areas.

 

The movement of other potentially infectious commodities such as hides, skins, game trophies, grass, and plant material out of DMAs has also been restricted until further notice. In-transit movement of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products through the five regions is also prohibited.

 

The agriculture ministry stated that all previously issued permits into, within and out of the disease management areas are cancelled and recalled. The ministry has set up roadblocks at strategic points and patrol teams have been deployed within management areas to enforce the restriction of animal movement. Furthermore, FMD surveillance aimed at establishing the extent of the outbreak in all five regions has been intensified.

 

“Farmers are strongly urged to bring their animals to the designated crush-pens for disease surveillance as per the announcement by officials,” the statement reads.

 

According to the agriculture ministry, tracing of all livestock movement from and into declared infected areas will be enforced by using the Namibian Livestock Identification and Traceability System (NamLITS).

 

The transport of raw meat and other animal products from the FMD-free areas and from the export abattoir in the Zambezi Region into the protection zone is still permitted.

 

“Farmers and the general public are requested to render their usual support in dealing with FMD outbreaks,” the statement reads.

 

The agriculture ministry implored all farmers in the area to report all suspected cases at the nearest State Veterinary offices.

 

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