The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) abattoirs in Lobatse and Francistown closed yesterday after reports of suspected Foot and Mouth Disease in Kuke extension in the Gantsi veterinary district.
A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture says five cattle were reportedly showing foot and oral lesions associated with the disease. Samples have been taken to the laboratory for testing and results are awaited.
"A complete movement ban of all cloven hoofed animals - cattle, sheep, goats, antelopes and pigs - and their products is hereby instituted with immediate effect, while surveillance to determine the extent of the disease spread is ongoing. All cattle slaughtering facilities, including the BMC abattoirs in Lobatse and Francistown, are closed with immediate effect," the MoA statement says.
Veterinary officials throughout the country are conducting surveillance
"Farmers are urged to cooperate with veterinary officials and bring their cattle for inspection. Farmers who have within the last 30 days moved cloven-hoofed animals from the Gantsi area should report to the nearest veterinary office to enable immediate inspection of those animals," the statement reads.
Farmers were further urged to report any suspicious animals to nearby veterinary and police offices.
This is possibly the second FMD outbreak since the beginning of the year. There was an earlier outbreak in Ngamiland at the beginning of the year.