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Kampala Traders Unaware of Foot and Mouth Disease Ban, Face Uncertain Future


Fresh Cuts Uganda Ltd Uganda meat ban in Kampala
PHOTO — Fresh Cuts Uganda Ltd

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Despite a directive from the Ministry of Agriculture banning the sale of meat and ordering the closure of all slaughterhouses in Kampala due to foot and mouth disease concerns, business continues as usual in abattoirs across the city. Traders dealing in meat claim they have not received any official notification regarding the closure and are unaware of the government’s directive.

Reports of foot and mouth disease cases in Kampala prompted the government to take action, directing the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to enforce quarantine measures to prevent further spread of the disease. According to a document signed by Commissioner of Animal Health Dr. Anna Rose Ademun, cases of foot and mouth disease have been identified in Rubaga division of Kampala.

In response to these reports, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries has imposed a ban on the movement and sale of all cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, and related products within Kampala. Additionally, livestock markets, slaughterhouses, butcheries, loading grounds, and animal shows have been prohibited from operating.

Despite the ban being instituted on March 1st following reported cases on February 28th, activities in Kampala’s butcheries and slaughterhouses continue without interruption. Trucks transporting cattle are still arriving, and the slaughter business persists, with traders claiming they have not been informed of any cases of foot and mouth disease in Kampala.

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Captain Aubrey Ssazi, a leader at Kalerwe abattoir, expressed frustration, stating, “It’s so unfortunate that such a document can circulate without our knowledge. There should have been an engagement between us and the ministry.”

Traders are shocked by the news of the foot and mouth disease outbreak in Kampala and criticize the government for neglecting its responsibility to prevent the disease’s spread. They question how the disease could affect Kampala, where there are no farms or cattle brought in without inspection.

Dr. Daniel Kyabayinze, the director of public health at the Ministry of Health, commended the ministry for taking action but urged the public to refrain from consuming any meat due to the existing foot and mouth disease cases. He emphasized the importance of food safety for public health and warned of the risks associated with consuming infected meat.

The ban on meat sales has sparked debate among consumers, who are now considering alternative options for their dietary needs. Some express concerns about the availability and affordability of alternative sources of protein, with implications for their daily meals.

Foot and mouth disease outbreaks have been reported in nearly 40 districts across the country, leading to a nationwide ban on cattle business to mitigate the spread of the disease.

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