RUNDU – The authorities have called on all affected communities and farmers to adhere to safety protocols as a measure to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), which has been confirmed in Ndiyona constituency of Kavango East. The agriculture ministry on Tuesday announced the FMD outbreak at Hoha village where 13 cattle tested positive for the disease.
According to the agriculture ministry, farmers in the affected area reported cattle showing FMD clinical symptoms, (limping, salivation) to officials of the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS), and the veterinary officials immediately instituted an outbreak investigation that included clinical inspection of cattle as well as collecting samples for laboratory analysis. “FMD cases were subsequently confirmed by the central veterinary laboratory in Windhoek on 28 September. Investigations by officials indicated that 13 cattle out of a 657 population of cattle in the crush pen area of Hoha village tested positive for FMD,” agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika said in a statement. “Those 13 cattle were found in eight kraals out of 23 kraals in that village,” he added. The ministry has since put control measures in place in line with the Animal Health Act 1 of 2011.
“There are temporary movement restrictions of all live cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, cattle, goats, pigs and wild animals within and out of the FMD protection zone (all areas north of the veterinary cordon fence also known as redline). Except Zambezi region and Mukwe constituency in Kavango East have been imposed with immediate effect until further notice.”
All animal gatherings such as auctions, permit days, cultural shows are suspended except for the purpose of vaccination. “Slaughtering of cloven-hoofed animals is also suspended and the movement of other potentially infectious commodities out of the FMD protection zone such as hides, skins, game trophies, grass and plant materials, amongst others, has also been imposed until further notice,” Misika said.
The ministry also announced the immediate vaccination of all cattle at risk, and all farmers are strongly urged to take their cattle for vaccination to the designated crush pens as per announcement by DVS officials.
Misika noted that the tracing back and forward of all livestock movements from and into Ndiyona is ongoing using the Namibia livestock identification and traceability system.
“All suspected FMD cases should be reported to the nearest state veterinary offices, any office of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform or the Namibian Police. Farmers and the general public are hereby requested for their usual cooperation in dealing with animal health emergencies,” he said.