The Acting Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Fidelis Molao, has expressed grief at the reported outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) at the Kareng area in Ngamiland.
“It is with great sadness that I have to inform this Honourable House of the suspected outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in the Kareng area of the North West District. The outbreak was detected on March 4, 2015 during pre-movement clinical inspection of the 300 cattle that were being loaded at Kareng destined for slaughter at the Maun abattoir,” Molao told Parliament yesterday.
The cattle were traced back to two crushes around Kareng, Maxebo and Lekurwane where the disease was confirmed in the cattle in the crushes.
Furthermore, investigations at these crushes confirmed FMD in the cattle.
At least 20 cattle with suspicious lesions of variable ages have been confirmed to have the presence of the disease.
“Generally the inspected herds showed very poor vaccination history. Of the 188 cattle inspected at Maxebo crush on March 5, 2015 only six cattle were bearing the latest Foot and Mouth Disease vaccination brand. The latest vaccination was done in the area in September 2014,” he said.
The outbreak came at a time when the ministry had already started the process of increasing the throughput at Maun abattoir.
Said Molao: “This outbreak is particularly very unfortunate as the last recorded case in this area was in September, 2013. Following the long period without any cases since then, we were very much advanced with trading partners to accept cattle and meat from this area, which was going to assist in improving the marketing of cattle and improving livelihoods of our people in the area”.
The minister said despite the setback they will continue with improvements. He said they were doing everything possible to contain and control the outbreak.
Particular attention will be paid to avert the spread of the disease to areas outside the affected ones such as Gantsi district and other parts of North West district, not affected by the outbreak.
“We have increased patrols along the Kuke fence and upscaled repairs. We have also blockaded the protection zone fence. Farmers are involved in the blockade of the protection zone fence,” Molao said.