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Kitgum vaccinates 1,000 cattle after outbreak of black quarter disease

Veterinary workers have embarked on vaccination in the affected areas.

Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kitgum district veterinary department has started a mass vaccination drive for cattle following the outbreak of black quarter, a highly infectious bacterial disease.

At least four heads of cattle have reportedly died from the disease in Wao village, Koch Parish in Labongo Amida sub-county.

Dr Alfred Kinyera, the Kitgum District Veterinary Officer says that the disease was first reported on January 13th after the death of four cattle on separate days.

He notes that the veterinary extension workers embarked on vaccination in the affected areas between January and February 13th.

To date, a total of 1,365 cattle have so far been vaccinated in the areas according to Dr Kinyera.

Dr Kinyera says the vaccination is also being undertaken in the neighbouring areas where the disease hadn’t yet been reported citing Lamola parish where several farmers have already vaccinated their animals.

He says the early vaccination is expected to curb the spread of the disease throughout the district since last year, a few animals got vaccinated against the disease due to the laxity of farmers.

He says although farmers are willing to take part in the vaccination, the cost implication in the exercise is also a great burden for some farmers.

Charles Otto, a livestock farmer in Koch parish says the amount levied for the vaccination is costly since he has 30 cattle. He notes that for all the animals to be vaccinated, he will part with a total of 90,000 which is expensive.

Otto says it would be cost-effective for farmers if the vaccination price is lowered.

For instance, vaccination for one cattle within a nearby area costs only 3,000 Shillings while the amount may be a little higher at 4,000 Shillings for those outside the urban centers or nearby sub-counties.

Dr Kinyera says the veterinary department is however also facing manpower challenges to swiftly undertake such vaccination exercise. The veterinary department according to Kinyera has only five assistant veterinary officers for the nine sub-counties in the district.

This is the second time since 2015 that the district is registering an outbreak of black quarter disease according to Kinyera.

The black quarter is a highly fatal bacterial infection and presents with symptoms of fever and significant swelling of the limb.

Meanwhile, the district is also currently faced with a strange disease suspected to be African swine fever that has so far claimed the lives of more than 600 pigs in Labongo Akwang sub-county.

The strange disease was first reported in the villages of Bajere East, Bajere, Bajere South, Okwici, and Oget.

The district veterinary department recently submitted reports of the disease to the Agriculture Ministry based on clinical signs testified by the pig owners after failing to pick tissue samples from infected pigs.

Dr Kinyera notes that they couldn’t get samples because they failed to get pigs that had freshly died for tissue samples to be picked during their field surveys.

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