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Calls for calm as FMD breaks out

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Return of a menace: FMD often strikes in Ngamiland PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
FRANCISTOWN: The Chairperson of North West Integrated Farmers Association (NWIFA), Mokadi Masedi has urged farmers in the region to stay calm amidst the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the area.

The dreaded disease was reported last week by the Director of Veterinary Services, Letlhogile Modise  who said the suspected outbreak was in the Nxamasere extåension area of the Okavango sub-district.

Masedi told Mmegi that the ministry had mobilized a surveillance team on the ground to issue vaccinations to cattle which showed suspicious signs of FMD. He said farmers should fear nothing as FMD can be contained, particularly as only a small portion was affected in the area.

“I’m calling on farmers to cooperate with officials and round up the cattle when they are required to do so in order for suspected cattle to be given vaccines,” he said.Masedi said the Nxamasere market has always been small as the area is located 400 kilometres away from the regional abattoir in Maun.

“The suspected outbreak will make matters worse for farmers as they only

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concentrate on a small market of supplying the local butcheries.

“This could also lead to shortage of beef in the area,” he said.

According to the state-owned Daily News, Head of FMD office in Maun, Dr Odireleng Thololwane recently said the maintenance of buffalo fences around Okavango Delta was currently underway in the area. FMD outbreaks are usually attributable to the interaction between cattle and buffaloes.

Thololwane was quoted as saying 13 cattle exhibited symptoms consistent with FMD at a crush in Xhaoga. He said authorities suspected that the affected cattle could have mixed with other animals from nearby villages such as Sepopa, Kuchumuchu and others.

He added that since the FMD outbreak was also reported in neighbouring Namibia, they were going to expand their surveillance to areas near the Dobe border post and to Shakawe to determine the spread.



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