RUNDU – The Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) has urged farmers to take their cattle to crush pens for vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease following an outbreak in the two Kavango regions.
According to veterinary authorities, some farmers have not been proactive in ensuring their livestock are protected from FMD. The immediate vaccination of cattle plays a key role in preventing the spread of the disease further.
“We won’t succeed in our mission if farmers don’t play their part because we still have herds of cattle which are not vaccinated so we need more. It is very important that farmers bring this cattle to crush pens where we will vaccinate them,” said state veterinarian Dr Thompson Shuro.
“Farmers must bring cattle to crush pens because, without the support of farmers, this won’t be a success. We need to achieve at least 80% coverage in Kavango East and Kavango West, so they need to gather their cattle and bring them to the crush pens.”
The ongoing vaccination started on 17 October in Kavango East and it will now be extended to Kavango West following the detection of new cases.
Farmers are also being urged to report cattle showing FMD clinical symptoms such as limping and salivation to veterinary officials with immediate effect.
In Kavango East, the agriculture ministry on 6 October announced the first FMD outbreak at Hoha village in Ndiyona constituency where 13 cattle tested positive for the disease, and it was reported to have spread to Shighuru village in Mashare constituency some 60 km west of Hoha village.
In Kavango West, it was first detected on 27 October at Sivara village in Kapako constituency where 13 cases were first reported and it has now spread to Kaguni and Nkata villages in the same constituency where the latest cases were reported.
The strategy in controlling this outbreak is through vaccination, animal movement restrictions and continuous surveillance; thus, the veterinary authorities have restricted animal movement and animal products from Kavango East and Kavango West to the rest of the northern communal areas, which is Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto, Oshana and Kunene north.