Foot-and-Mouth outbreak in Zambezi
The Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry (MAWF) this week announced that there has been a suspected outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)at Linyanti, in Linyanti Constituency in the Zambezi Region.
The outbreak was discovered after an investigation was conducted on 1 December. On the initial investigation, 9 cattle from three kraals with a total herd of 470, had oral and foot lesions suggestive of FMD. According to the MAWF the animals are resident on an island which is between the Sapisi and Linyanti Rivers.
Further investigations are still underway but in the mean time the MAWF in terms of the Animal Health Act no. 1 of 2011 and the Foot and Mouth Disease Contingency Plan, have imposed a temporary but complete ban of all susceptible livestock movements within and into Zambezi Region with immediate effect. The movement of cloven-hoofed animals, like cattle, sheep, goats and pigs or their products, other potentially infectious commodities including hides, skins, game trophies, grass, plant material, will remain restricted until further notice. The movement of livestock out of Zambezi Region is not allowed. MAWF also said that a containment area has been established with a radius of 40 km around Linyanti and that a moratorium on the movements of meat from the Katima Mulilo abattoir has been imposed until further notice. The ministry said a number of roadblocks are being set up at strategic points to ensure compliance with movement restrictions and members of the public are urged to fully cooperate with the officials. In addition to that, patrol teams have been deployed in the area to ensure that no animals leave the island to surrounding areas, surveillance and outbreak investigation teams have been deployed in the affected area to establish the source and extent of the outbreak and farmers are requested to present their livestock for inspection. The ministry said it will update all stakeholders and the communities in the affected area on developments through the local radio station, community visits and meetings, and that regular meetings of the Regional FMD emergency Committee will be conducted. These restrictions are temporary in nature and are designed to allow the Directorate of Veterinary Services to establish the full extent of the outbreak. There will be a gradual lifting of these restrictions in the shortest possible period. There are no restrictions in the FMD free zone which is south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence as well as other areas which comprise the protection zone which are the Kavango East, Kavango West, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati and Kunene North that are north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence.