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Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak confirmed in the Zambezi Region

Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak confirmed in the Zambezi Region

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform on 13 October confirmed a Foot and Mouth disease outbreak at the Mbalasinte village in Kabbe South in the Zambezi region.

Dr Albertina Musilika-Shilongo, Chief Veterinary Officer at the ministry said following an investigation by veterinary officials, a total of 14 clinical cases out of 230 cattle were found with healing lesions which are consistent with FMD at three kraals, but the investigation to ascertain the source of the infection is ongoing.

“In line with the Animal Act, Act No. 1 of 2011, Kabbe South and Kabbe North constituencies have been declared FMD-infected areas, and the entire Zambezi region is declared a Disease Management Area (DMA),” said Musilika-Shilongo.

She said control measures that have been put in place and will be enforced for the next 14 days are intensive FMD surveillance aimed at establishing the extent of the outbreak. “After 14 days, the control measures will be reviewed and the public will be notified accordingly,” said Musilika-Shilongo.

She further said movement restriction or a ban of all cloven-hoofed animals out, in, and through the DMA and all previously issued permits into and within the DMA are cancelled and recalled, except animals originating from other FMD zones destined to an export abattoir.

“There is also movement restriction and ban of potentially infectious commodities out, within and through the DMA such as raw meat, raw milk, hides, skins, game trophies, grass and plant materials in exception of potted plants, and slaughtering of cloven-hoofed animals at local markets has also been suspended,” she added.

“Intake of cattle into the quarantine places has also been suspended, plus several roadblocks and patrol teams will strategically be placed around the DMA, and members of the public are urged to cooperate with veterinary and police officials fully, and emergency vaccination of cattle against FMD has commenced, farmers are urged to bring their cattle at vaccination points,” she said.

Musilika-Shilongo said slaughtering of cloven-hoofed animals for own consumption and social events such as funerals and weddings within a community is allowed, but meat or any raw product from the slaughtered animal is not allowed to be moved out of the community or village.

She further stated that movement of raw meat and livestock feed into the DMA is allowed provided that sufficient evidence is provided as proof that such was obtained outside the DMA and cattle already in the quarantine will be handled as per the Commodity Based Trade provision.

“Farmers and the general public are hereby once again requested to report to the relevant authorities any suspicious cases of FMD as well as the movement of animals and their products as prohibited in this veterinary public notification,” concluded Musilika-Shilongo.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.