WINDHOEK - In an attempt to avoid further spread of Food and Mouth Disease (FMD), the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry is currently vaccinating about 40 000 cattle considered to be at risk against the disease in the Zambezi Region.
The Directorate of Veterinary Services under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry gave an update to farmers and the public about the FMD outbreak at Sigwe village in the Zambezi Region which was confirmed on the 11 August and subsequently announced to the public on the 12 August.
Dr Albertina Shilongo, acting chief veterinary officer in the ministry, said after rounds of surveillance in the area within 30 km radius of Sigwe village by the veterinary officials, it was established that the outbreak has not spread beyond Sigwe village.
She revealed that so far a total of 3 934 out of 4 125 cattle (95 percent vaccination coverage) have been vaccinated in Sigwe village.
Therefore, Shilongo noted vaccination of cattle within a radius of 30km of Sigwe village has also commenced since the 26 August and about 40 000 cattle considered to be at risk will be vaccinated by this month.
In line with the Animal Health Act, 1 of 2011, the area within the radius of 30 km of Sigwe village has been declared as a controlled area.
She said crush-pens within the controlled area are Kalala, Kasika, Impalila, Kabukabula, Ivilivinzi, Muzii, Kazuka, Itomba, Mutwalwizi, Nsundwa, Naangwena, Naankuntwe, Ihaha, Nantungu, Limai and Silubaba.
Control measures still in place include the movement restriction or ban of all cloven-hoofed animals in, out and through (in-transit) the controlled area.
Cloven-hoofed animals are animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and other wild animals and their products.
The other measure is the movement restriction or ban of potentially infectious commodities out and through the controlled area such as hides, skins, game trophies, grass, and plant materials.
Equally, a number of patrol teams have been set up around the controlled area and roadblocks will soon be placed at strategic places around the controlled area.
The re-vaccination of all cattle in the controlled area with a tri-valet purified FMD vaccine has already commenced and she strongly urged all farmers to bring their cattle for vaccination to the designated crush pens as per announcement by directorate of veterinary service officials.
However, she maintained the movement of all cloven-hoofed animals within and through (in- transit) other parts of the Zambezi Region (in exception of the controlled area) is allowed.
The movement of other commodities such as hides, skins, game trophies, plant materials in, out, within and through the rest of the Zambezi Region (in exception of the controlled area) provided that appropriate procedures have been followed is also permitted.
The movement of raw meat, raw milk in, within the region is allowed, including the controlled area.
Further, the movement of grass in and within the region is allowed including the controlled area, however, she said grass will not be allowed to be moved out of the controlled area.
Slaughtering of animals at local abattoirs and markets in the region is allowed, except in the controlled area.
FMD virus is found in all excretions and secretions of infected animals such as milk, semen, urine and dung as well as meat. The disease is not readily transmissible to humans and is not a public health risk.