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300 livestock succumb to tick-borne disease in Amudat

Ticks on cattle.

Amudat, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Pastoralists in Amudat district are counting losses after losing their livestock to the tick-borne disease. Over 300 cows have succumbed to the tick-borne disease in the district in the last six months.

Betty Chelain, the Amudat Woman Member of Parliament, says that each day, the pastoralists lose animals in their kraals, which is affecting their livelihoods. “There is a need for urgent intervention from the Ministry of Agriculture because livestock is a bank in the pastoral community,” she said.

Mark Lote, a pastoralist and a resident of Akorikeya in Amudat district, says that he lost three cattle two weeks ago to the disease.

He explained that the sick animal presents with a loss of weight and appetite, and when it dies, the lungs produce a lot of water and the meat turns yellow. John Ruto, another pastoralist says many animals are sick, adding that the loss of their animals is very painful. “We dont know when shall we be helped on this, it’s bad to continue losing livestock every day,” he said.

Dr. Micheal Kasiro, the Amudat District Veterinary Officer confirmed the damage caused by the tick-borne disease.  He explains that the disease is caused by intracellular parasites known as Babesia Bovis, and Babesia. He said the disease can be prevented through routine spraying and vaccination of the animals.

“Am in Kampala right now over the same, but thanks the ministry has given us some medicine for spraying the animals,” he said. According to Dr. Kasiro, the fight against the disease is a little difficult because of the migratory nature of the pastoralists to areas where they can’t access veterinary services on time.



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