FMD quarantine in Kabarole district, Fort Portal City eased with strict guidelines

KABAROLE, March 20, 2024 – Authorities monitoring Foot and Mouth Disease [FMD] in Kabarole district, and Fort Portal City have eased the quarantine restrictions that were imposed two months ago to curtail further spread of the disease.

The quarantine restrictions were eased on Sunday with strict guidelines to allow safe movement of livestock and trade in related products like meat and milk, among others.

According to experts, FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock that include cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.

On Jan 19, 2024, the Commissioner Animal Health in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Anna Rose Ademun imposed quarantine IN Kabarole district restricting the movement of livestock, and sale related products after  FMD cases were conformed in the area.

However, to ensure that further spread of the disease is checked, the joint taskforce established by the authorities has put in place standard operating procedures [SOPs] to ensure the safe movement of animals and safe trade in meat within the two local governments.

Speaking during the meeting with meat traders and businessmen, the Fort Portal Resident City Commissioner, Hellen Monica Kamwine urged all animal traders to register with their leaders, adding that the list be submitted to the the city and district veterinary officers within two weeks.

“All livestock traders shall be allowed to operate upon payment for cattle traders license and should move with the license. However, all livestock markets in Kabarole and Fort Portal City shall remain closed,” Kamwine said.

She  added all animals for slaughter and breeding purposes shall only be sold on farms within Kabarole and Fort Portal City, adding  they will not allow any animals from outside except on special permit from the Commissioner Animal Health .

“Slaughtering of the animals shall be carried in the gazetted slaughter facilities [abattoirs] and only meat that has been inspected and passed shall be allowed in the butcheries. Uninspected meat found in butcheries or with individuals shall attract closure, and culprits shall face prosecution in courts of law,” she said.

The joint taskforce further recommended that leaders of the livestock traders and butcheries play an oversight role and report illegal activities to relevant authorities.

On his part, the Kabarole district LCV Chairperson, Richard Rwabuhinga asked for security to be beefed up to combat the illegal entry and movement of livestock animals within Kabarole and Fort Portal City.

Rwabuhinga urged farmers to report any disease outbreaks to relevant offices for quick response and management.

“We shall keep monitoring butcheries and abattoirs to ensure that they comply and if they don’t comply we shall take another step. We shall make a review meeting after one month and that’s when we shall decide whether to fully lift the quarantine or not,” he said.

David Kyomuhendo, Chairperson Kacwamba Abattoir in Fort Portal City said as leaders, they would ensure that animals are slaughtered between 7am and 10 am as spelt out in the guidelines to combat FMD.

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