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FMD vaccination: Gov’t to prioritize districts along Tanzania border

FMD vaccination

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is prioritizing vaccination of livestock against Foot and Mouth Disease in all districts along the Uganda-Tanzania border. This follows reports of cross border grazing and illegal cattle trade.

The two activities have been cited as the major reasons why there is an escalation of FMD in the cattle corridor in southwestern Uganda. The districts to receive priority include Isingiro, Rakai, and Ntungamo.

The farmers from Isingiro district on Wednesday told the Minister of Agriculture Frank Tumwebaze and his Deputy Bright Rwamirama that the disease is on the increase due to several farmers who graze their animals in Tanzania and traders who cross into the country for cheap animals.

Enock Nuwabeine, a cattle farmer from Bukanga says that the district leadership has failed to stop the illegal cattle trade and cattle grazing along the border between Uganda and Tanzania.

Jessica Musiime a cattle farmer from Endiizi says that Ugandan traders spend days with cattle brought in from Tanzania in their area for days which spreads FMD. She says this has also escalated cattle theft in the district.

Bernard Nuwagira a farmer from Bukanga says that most traders in the district cross and buy the cattle from Ahakaribatiriro cattle market in Tanzania. He says the traders use porous routes to cross cattle into Uganda.

The District Production Officer Aloysius Karugaba says that Foot and Mouth disease outbreak commonly occurs in the 5 sub-counties of Endinzi, Mbaare, Bugango town council, Kashumba and Kakamba which border Tanzania.

He also attributes the escalation of the disease to some farms which were taken during the Uganda-Tanzania border re-demarcation exercise in 2003. He explains that thousands of cattle graze in Uganda at night and move across the border during the day.

Tumwebaze asked the cattle farmers and leaders to be vigorous  in the implementation and enforcement of the quarantine regulations.

The government recently procured 1.4 million FMD doses from Kenya and received only 500,000 doses which were distributed to 52 districts.

Isingiro district has a cattle population of 180,000 heads of cattle but received 40,000 doses of vaccine for the affected sub-counties.

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