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Bright Rwamirama

How government is controlling foot and mouth disease

posted onFebruary 16, 2021

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries on Tuesday gave an update on the status of control of foot and mouth and disease (FMD).

According to Lt. Col. (Rtd) Bright Rwamirama, the government, through the ministry, has procured 2.4 million doses of FMD vaccine and they will be administered strategically in affected areas, high-risk areas, and transit routes.

As per the 2018 Annual Agriculture Survey, there are 40.8 million livestock in the country: 14. 8 million cattle, 16 million goats, 5.4m sheep and 5m goats -- that are susceptible to the disease.

The above is in addition to the wildlife that are susceptible to FMD. Away from vaccination, farmers have been urged to isolate affected animals, properly fence their farms, prevent visitors from moving freely in and out of their farms.

Communal grazing has also been discouraged and the minister has told farmers to hire "competent veterinarians" to "properly treat affected animals".

At the sub-county level, checkpoints have been installed and equipped with disinfection; they will also be manned by local council personnel with support from law enforcement officers.

Vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and people moving through or out of the affected sub-county must be disinfected at checkpoints, according to the minister, who went on to say that animals and animal products for sale will originate only from non-infected areas.

Those transporting milk are to ensure that there is no spillage. The same applies to other animal products. District veterinary officials will have proper mechanisms to ensure early disease detection and timely and routine vaccinations.

The government will also strengthen human resource capacity at districts for effective disease control.

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