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Gulu district seeks additional 6,000 FMD vaccines

MAAIF distributed only 4000 FMD vaccines in the first phase to Gulu district. File Photo

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Thousands of cattle in Gulu are battling the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) as the district awaits the delivery of additional 6,000 doses of vaccines by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animals Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). The high contagious FMD broke out in the district in August this year, affecting thousands of cattle.

As a result, the MAAIF through Dr Anna Rose Ademun, the commissioner of Animal Health announced quarantine on September 3, 2021, to contain the spread of the disease. Gulu District Veterinary Department then requested 10,000 doses from the ministry to vaccinate cattle against the disease but only received 4,000 in mid-September.

The district disbursed the vaccines to the most affected areas including Palaro, Awach and Paicho sub counties, which have been used up. Now, Stephen Odong Latek, the Gulu Resident District Commissioner says that farmers are still stuck with thousands of unvaccinated livestock yet they want the quarantine lifted.

According to Latek, the district has written another letter to MAAIF seeking more vaccines in order to cover the entire district, adding that the only communication they received is that their request is yet to be granted.

He explains that due to the restriction of livestock movements, many farmers are now transporting their animals in the night using the routes through Lamwo and Amuru districts.

Nelson Mandela, the Local Chairperson of Oroko village in Palaro sub county, says that dozens of animals have died in his area due to FMD with hundreds of others on the verge of dying. He also notes that the livestock quarantine and suspension of slaughterhouses has greatly affected those whose livelihoods rely on the livestock business.

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