KAMPALA – The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has suspended all cattle markets in the country to contain the spread of coronavirus.
In a statement issued on Thursday by the State Minister for animal industry, Maj Bright Rwamirama, all cattle markets in Uganda have been closed with immediate effect.
“The President of Uganda has placed further restrictions to close all livestock markets in Uganda due to COVI-19 outbreak to avoid crowding of humans i.e. instituting the human quarantine. This goes along way to support animal quarantine restrictions,” he said.
The statement also updates the nation on activities that are taking place in the control of animal diseases, particularly Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) that has been ravaging the country disrupting people’s livelihoods as well as preventing access to international lucrative markets. Here is part of the the Minister’s statement;
Actions taken to control FMD in Uganda:
1. Imposition of quarantine restrictions on affected sub-counties in Districts to restrict movement of livestock and livestock products to prevent disease spread.
2. Ring vaccination of susceptible domestic animals that are at risk within the affected herds and neighboring herds.
3. The Ministry has acquired 500,000 doses of FMD vaccine from Kenya Veterinary Vaccine Production Institute (KEVEVAPI) that have been distributed to the affected districts. The criterion for distribution has taken into account the district herd size, prevalence of FMD in the district, width of the area, and the risk of incursion of the disease.
4. The Ministry will soon be receiving 200,000 doses of FMD vaccine from Botswana Veterinary Vaccine Production Institute (BVI). The distribution will follow the same criterion.
The vaccination strategy will consider susceptible animals in Districts close to borders, along the stock routes at borders with the national parks and ring vaccination at outbreak areas.
The Ministry has been allocated funds to procure a further 3.5 million doses of FMD vaccine. The will ensure that Uganda achieves the Step Wise Elimination of FMD as prescribed World Animal Health Organization (OIE).
The affected districts are urged to continue adhering to the quarantine restrictions as imposed by the Commissioner Animal Health until the appropriate time when they restrictions will be lifted to allow trade.
“My ministry therefore promises this nation a level of control of FMD that will enable access to lucrative markets and hence improve livestock contribution to GDP and livelihoods of the farmers,” Rwamirama said.