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Foot and mouth disease outbreak reported in Nakasongola

Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Vincent Ssempijja

Nakasongola,  Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |Nakasongola district has registered a fresh outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease weeks after the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries lifted the quarantine in the area.

The fresh outbreak has been reported in five farms located at Butiiti village in Nabiswera Sub County.

The LCV Chairperson Nakasongola Sam Kigula says that the movement of animals and their products in Nabiswera Sub County have been restricted.

Kigula says that the outbreak has paralyzed plans to lift animal quarantine which had been imposed there since last year and this is going to plunge the pastoralists into further poverty.

Fred Kempaka the District Councillor for Nabiswera Sub County says that over 70 heads of cattle have been attacked by the disease at the village.

Kempaka explains that roadblocks have been mounted in the area to stop animal movements and all nearby pastoralists ordered to vaccinate their cattle to stop the spread of the disease.

Kempaka, however, pleaded with the district and Ministry of Agriculture not to re-impose animal quarantine in entire sub-county but target only the affected parish.

Dr Sam Eswaggu the Nakasongola district Veterinary Officer declined to comment on the outbreak saying he needed permission from Chief Administrative Officer.

By the time Nakasongola has registered a fresh outbreak of foot and mouth disease, Dr Doris Kiconco the assistant commissioner animal health had lifted quarantine in Nakasongola.

According to Kiconco’s statement dated 10th August 2020, the Ministry had imposed a quarantine on sub-counties of Nabiswera, Nakitoma and Migyera town council since February 2019 when Foot and Mouth disease was detected there.

Kiconco, however, noted following expert investigations recently, the district is now free from FMD and as a result, the quarantine had been lifted in the affected areas.

Kiconco, however, directed that animals should be sold and loaded on farms till the restrictions imposed on cattle markets over COVID 19 pandemic are lifted.  There are over 269,000 heads of cattle in Nakasongola according to district veterinary office.

With the fresh outbreak, the Ministry may re-instate animal quarantine leaving the pastoralists crying foul.

FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock that affects cattle, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants. 

FMD has affected most of the cattle corridor districts in central Uganda including Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Gomba, Sembabule among others leaving pastoralists unable to sell their animals since last year.

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