Authorities in the Kiruhura district of Uganda have placed a total ban on the sales and movement of livestock and their products in the district to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
The authorities revealed that the move was a response to the residents’ inability to comply with the existing quarantine rules that were laid out in the district last December after the disease outbreak.
“The district task force has, therefore, decided to impose total FMD quarantine on any animal movement or animal products within and outside Kiruhura District with immediate effect until a stable disease situation is attained,” Mr. Charles Kiberu, the chief administrative officer (CAO) said.
Mr. Kiberu ordered all sub-county chiefs in the district to immediately halt the movement of livestock and the sales of their products.
“Despite the efforts put forward by the different stakeholders to control the spread of the disease, outbreaks have continually occurred in disease-free sub-counties,” he said.
Mr. Kiberu further explained that farmers have not been cooperative in the act of trying to contain the spread of the disease as they keep on selling livestock and their product to traders who move animals at night.
A dairy farmer in the Kakaysi Sub-county, Mr. Abel Rutemba said the quarantine would help contain the spread of the disease.
“We are trying to limit the movement of milk vendors who move from one home to another collecting milk,” Mr. Rutemba said.
In response to the immediate ban on the movement of livestock, the head of veterinary services in Mbarara District, Dr. Andrew Bakashaba said they have increased surveillance and security at the border points with Kiruhura to help stop the spread of the disease in the area.
“In the first place, the few outbreaks we already have been from Kiruhura because Kagongi Sub-county neighbours Kiruhura; the same with Biharwe Division, so Kiruhura has been the problem here, especially given that their farmers are not cooperative,” Dr. Bakashaba said.
However, Dr. Bakashaba said the district has been able to vaccinate about 25,000 head of cattle against the disease but has run out of vaccine.
“If we can get the vaccine from the Ministry of Agriculture, we can continue with the vaccination exercise but the ministry says they do not have the vaccine,” Mr Bakashaba added.