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Cattle farmers defy livestock quarantine in Katakwi

Cattle trade was banned in Katakwi prior to spread of FMD. File Photo

Katakwi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Livestock farmers in Katakwi district are defying the quarantine imposed in the area.

In 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture indefinitely closed cattle markets and restricted the movement of livestock in the district to avert the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease-FMD in Palam and Ngariam sub-counties.

The disease has since spread to some sub-counties as traders and communities continue to defy the quarantine.

The sale and slaughter of animals continues in rural and urban areas and trucks carrying cattle have also been spotted in the district.

Gabriel Omuge, the cattle trader in Katakwi notes that many farmers are defying the quarantine because they derive their livelihood in the cattle trade.

Samson Ojune, another cattle trader wants the government to allow them continue operating because they have endured poverty since they depend on livestock as a source of income.

In Apujan sub county, several traders were seen loading cattle in a truck next to Apujan police post.

Vincent Enomu, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner Katakwi who chairs COVID-19 taskforce in the district is worried that cattle traders are at the risk of contracting coronavirus since they travel to different places like South Sudan.

Walter Elakas Okiring, the LCV chairperson Katakwi says the district has written to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries requesting to lift the quarantine since the veterinary department has been vaccinating animals.

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