Nwoya, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Veterinary officials in Nwoya district are investigating the suspected outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease-FMD. Suspected cases of the highly viral animal disease were reportedly registered at a livestock farm in Nyamokino parish, Lungulu sub-county, according to local officials.
Alfred Kilama, the Nwoya District Agricultural Officer told Uganda Radio Network in an interview Wednesday that samples from cattle suspected to have been infected have already been picked for testing. “We got the alarms of the suspected outbreak of FMD at a farm in Nyamokino parish, our district veterinary officer has already picked the samples for testing and we expect to get the results soon,” said Kilama.
He notes that in the meantime, the district has made plans to roll out the mass vaccination of animals in the area where the suspected cases have been reported to prevent it from spreading in case the samples test positive.
Kilama says they have so far received 8,000 vials of FMD vaccines from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, but notes that they are yet to receive syringes for conducting the vaccination.
According to Kilama, although no death has been reported, they have decided to conduct thorough investigations to establish facts since some farmers could be hoarding information with the intention of making sales during the festive season.
“Some farmers fear that if they disclose information about the death of animals, there could be a ban on sales and movement of animals, which will affect their businesses ahead of Christmas. We shall not hesitate to impose quarantine if the results turn out positive,” said Kilama.
Dr. Isiah Odokorach, the Nwoya District Veterinary Officer says 50 cattle from the kraal have presented FMD symptoms. He says they picked samples from 20 cattle for testing, which will be delivered to MAAIF to ascertain whether they are positive for the disease.
Denis Atube, the Lungulu sub-county LC3 chairperson says the illegal entry of animals in the area brought by pastoralists has made animals susceptible to strange diseases. Abe notes that many cattle are being transported into the sub-county without verification by the local leaders or the veterinary officers since they allegedly belong to top security officials in the country.
“It’s very possible that the entry of these cattle illegally is contributing to the spread of animal diseases in our sub-county, they are brought at night and under military or police escort,” Atube told Uganda Radio Network in an interview Wednesday.
In July last year, MAAIF imposed a quarantine restricting the movement of animals to and outside of Nwoya District following an outbreak of FMD that killed more than 20 cattle in Purongo and Anaka sub counties. The quarantine was lifted in January this year after the cases were reportedly suppressed.