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Atiak sub county bans cattle movement over suspected FMD outbreak

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Authorities in Atiak sub county, Amuru district have imposed a ban on the movement of cattle due to a suspected outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

The area borders Palaro sub county in Gulu district, where an outbreak of FMD has been reported and killed dozens of cattle.

In a move to prevent the disease from spreading to the area, the authorities have indefinitely banned the movement of cattle in and out of Atiak sub county, to break the transmission chain of the disease in case of an infestation.

Samuel Akera, the Atiak sub county chairperson says that the veterinary department has also been tasked to document the health status of all animals in grazing kraals within the area.

Akera added that they have also intensified surveillance and awareness among residents to report to the veterinary department any animals that may present with the signs and symptoms of FMD.

However, Aggrey Akera, the male councilor for Atiak sub county expressed worries that cattle keepers in the area are reluctant in reporting on the health of their animals, which he says is greatly hampering their monitoring and surveillance aimed at preventing FMD from spreading into the area.

He added that farmers have also been advised to burn carcasses of animals that died of unknown diseases.

Batulumayo Okwonga, the veterinary officer for Amuru district says no case of the disease has been reported to his office but there are rumours that some cattle in Atiak sub county have presented suspected health ailments similar to FMD.

Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock that has a significant economic impact.

The disease affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.

It is a trans boundary animal disease (TAD) that deeply affects the production of livestock and disrupts regional and international trade in animals and animal products.



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