THE most well-known Kapana businesses in northern Namibia have been closed down due to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
Since the outbreak was first detected late last year, the Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati, and Kunene regions have been declared as disease management areas where strict 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.
Chief Veterinary Officer Doctor Albertina Shilongo, said that the ministry of agriculture has set up roadblocks to restrict the movement of animals and animal products from infected areas to other regions in the country.
This after farmers in the Northern Central Area (NCA) used to move their cattle to Angola back in 2019 due to severe drought many farmers cross the border to graze in Angola on a daily basis and move from Angola to drink water at water points in Namibia every day.
While some farmers in 2020 started restocking and some moving their cattle back from Angola.
This was revealed by Shilongo, stating that Angola informed the veterinary authority of Namibia last year November about the ongoing outbreak of FMD in Calais district in the Cuando Cubango province along the border where Namibian cattle are grazing and Angola is not vaccinated against FMD.
“This illegal movement poses a high risk of introducing Transboundary Animal Diseases into the NCA,” she said.
According to her, a farmer informed the veterinary officials that some of his cattle are limping and salivating, as a result, four positive FMD cases were detected at Ombandi village in Okongo constituency of Ohangwena region were out of 36 cattle brought by a farmer from his cattle post in Angola after he wanted his oxen for ploughing.
Shilongo further indicated that two cases of FMD were detected in a herd of 5 cattle at Onamulunga village in the Olukonda constituency of the Oshikoto region on 29 December 2020.
“We urge farmers and the public not to bring cattle from Angola into Namibia to prevent the spread of FMD. Farmers are requested to take cattle for inspections and vaccination at their nearest crush pen when the announcement is made by the veterinary service,” she said.
The ministry has also informed MEFT officials about the FMD outbreak and to work together with veterinary officials in the NCA to curb the spread of the FMD virus to wildlife in NCA conservancies and the Etosha National Park.
Chairperson of Mangetti Farmers Association, Ismael Shailemo called on farmers to adhere to the laws and regulations put in place to curb the further spread of the disease while assistance is coming.
He also asked the farmers not to hesitate in availing their livestock for inspection when requested to do so.