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Police block Kabale pork dealers protest

FILE PHOTO: Pork in Kabale was quarantined due to outbreak of African swine fever.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Anti-riot police on Wednesday foiled a demonstration of over 40 pork dealers in Kabale district who were demanding for the immediate lifting of the quarantine.

In September veterinary authorities in Kabale and Rubanda districts imposed a quarantine following an outbreak of the African swine fever.

On Wednesday pork dealers under their umbrella Kabale district pork vendors association converged at Dick’s pork joint along Kazooba road and matched to Kabale district headquarters to meet Darias Nandiinda, the Kabale Resident District Commissioner and Patrick Besigye Keihwa, Kabale LCV chairperson.

However, the protestors were intercepted by anti-riot police under the command of Brian Ampeire, Kabale district police commander and Muhammad Chewalyang, the head of operations at Kabale police station.

Ampeire says that police could not allow them go to the district headquarters yet the district chairperson and Resident District Commissioner were not in office.

Moses Agaba alias Kewel of Kewel pork Joint, Hope Asiimwe, the proprietor of Align Investments Limited notes that the quarantine has left them in losses.

Agaba and Asiimwe say that they feel angered when they see pork dealers from the neighbouring district of Rukiga crossing to Kabale and buying pigs without interruption from authorities.

Dick Ahimbisibwe, the chairperson for Kabale District Pork Vendors Association, Gideon Leo accuses veterinary authorities of imposing the ban based on rumours.  Ahimbisibwe and Leo argue that the quarantine should be lifted because pork business is the only main source of income for their families.

Bernard Kabagambe, Kabale District Veterinary Officer says that they are going to intensify operation to make sure that those who cross to Kabale to buy pigs are apprehended.

Kabagambe also says that he will together with all district authorities hold a meeting with pork dealers on Friday this week to discuss more about the matter.

African swine fever is a highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, and exhaustion in pigs. The disease is highly infectious and infected pigs must be slaughtered and their carcasses buried or incinerated.

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