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Beef prices soar in Kyenjojo over foot and mouth disease

Mugisa says beef prices are likely to keep soaring because entry of cattle from neighbouring districts has been restricted due to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.

Kyenjojo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Beef prices have gone up in Kyenjojo district because of the measures put in place to stop the spread of Foot and Mouth disease.    

On Friday, the Kyenjojo District Veterinary Officer, Dr. Godfrey Kahuta, restricted livestock movement into the district to prevent the spread of the highly contagious viral infection, which has been reported in a number of districts. 

About two weeks ago, the government-imposed quarantine in Isingiro, Kazo, Kiruhura, Sembabule and Gomba districts where the disease had been detected in many herds. 

The State Minister for Animal Husbandry Bright Rwamirama then announced a ban on the movement of livestock and livestock products into and out of the affected districts. 

The government also announced restrictions on the movement of livestock in another 24 districts including Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono, which are listed among the high-risk areas.  

Dr. Godfrey Kahuta says that although there are no registered cases of Foot and Mouth Disease in the Kyenjojo district, they will not allow the entry of livestock into Kyenjojo until the outbreak in the affected districts has been contained.  

The restriction has already led to a scarcity of cattle for slaughtering in Kyenjojo, leading to a hike in the beef prices at the butcheries. 

Isaac Mugisa, a butcher in Kyenjojo town council, says they normally buy cattle from Rwamwanja in Kamwenge district but with the restriction, they are now stranded.     

Mugisa explains that as a result, they have been forced to increase the price of Kilogram of beef from Shillings 12,000 to Shillings 14,000 adding that the prices may keep soaring as they run out of cattle to slaughter within the district.       

Lilian Bagwa, who works with Friends Hotel in Kyenjojo district, says due to an increase in the beef prices they have also been forced to revise the cost of food on their menu. 

She says a plate of food with beef sauce is now Shillings 6,000 from Shillings 5,000. She says their customers are already opposing the new price.

One of the hotel’s customers, Joseph Kasangaki, says he is not happy with the changes in the cost of food that he says is now expensive for him.     

Foot and Mouth Disease is a viral disease of cloven-hoofed livestock and wildlife, including cattle, goats, swine, sheep and buffaloes. It has occurred several times in Uganda since 1953 when it was first confirmed. 

It is characterized by fever and blister-like sores on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between the hooves.

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