Kabarole bans livestock trade over outbreak of FMD

FORT PORTAL, January 25, 2024 – Authorities in Kabarole district and Fort Portal City have banned the trade of livestock, products, and their movement following the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease [FMD] in the area.

The ban includes the closure of butcheries, abattoirs, dairy outlets, and livestock markets to avoid further spread of the disease.

Dr. Henry Mulondo, the Kabarole District Veterinary Officer said laboratory tests confirmed the presence of FMD after animals exhibited symptoms.

“Out of the 17 confirmed cases, 16 were from a single farm raising concern about potential additional cases. These samples were collected from Busoro Sub-county,” Mulondo said.

He said the enforcement teams have been tasked to ensure compliance and appealed to farmers to report animals with symptoms of FMD and ensure they disinfect all farm visitors and limit visits to the farm.

The Kabarole District Production and Marketing Officer, Dr. Salvatore Abigaba said the district is home to about 35,000 heads of cattle, adding that they have requested government for 24,000 doses of vaccine for targeted vaccination in hotspot areas.

Dr. Abigaba said the district is the lead supplier of livestock to Fort Portal City which he said should not be left behind on the ban.

“Most of the animal slaughtered and sold within the city are bought from Kabarole district and even milk that is sold within the city, I therefore appeal to the city authorities to also implement the ban until we register no more cases of FMD,” Abigaba noted.

Leaders in the district attribute the outbreak to the uncontrolled movement of animals during the festive season.

According to leaders animals were brought to the district from areas where FMD had already been reported.

The Kabarole Resident District Commissioner [RDC] , Festus Bandeeba said the ban is imposed on all sub counties and town councils in the district and it will only be lifted once they stop registering new FMD cases.

“We have enough enforcement teams at all levels and as head of security in the district, I have instructed all enforcement teams to ensure there is strict adherence to the directive to avoid more new infections,” he said.

Bandeeba emphasised that he does not expect any butcher to be open or any dairy until the ban is lifted.

The Fort Portal City Veterinary Officer, Dr. Gerald Ategeka said they have formed surveillance teams to regularly  inspect butchers, dairy outlets, restaurants, livestock markets and abattoirs to ensure compliance.

Dr. Ategeka warned all farmers who have been grazing their livestock from public places and road reserves to stop saying they should be fed from their homes or on the farm.

While the measures aim to control the outbreak, concerns have been raised about the impact on the businesses. Some farmers and butcher operators expressed worried about the restrictions affecting their livelihood.

About the directive

On January19, 2024, The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries [MAAIF] issued a directive to the Kabarole District Chief Administrative Officer restricting trade and consumption of livestock and their products due to the outbreak of FMD in the district.

The Commissioner Animal Health in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Anna Rose Ademun, wrote, “Following the outbreak of FMD in Busoro sub county Kabarole district as reported  on Jan 19, 2024, quarantine restrictions are here by imposed on Kabarole district with immediate effect as per the Animal Diseases Act, cap 38”.

The directive bans the movement of cattle, goats, sheep, their products and by-products, to, from, through and within Kabarole district.

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

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