Mbarara , Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mbarara City Foot and Mouth Disease taskforce has partially lifted the Foot and Mouth disease quarantine two weeks after it was instituted to contain the outbreak.
The Commissioner of Animal Health Dr Rose Anna Ademun imposed a total livestock quarantine on Mbarara City following the Foot and mouth disease outbreak.
The City authorities have since been implementing control measures, including the ban on the movement and sale of cattle and their products from the affected areas.
The taskforce chairperson who also the Resident City Commissioner James Mwesigye, says that they have managed to prevent the disease from spreading and haven’t registered any new cases since the ban was imposed.
Mwesigye says they have allowed the partial lifting of the quarantine following guidelines from the Ministry of Animal Husbandry.
He says the guidelines involve getting an authorization letter from the farm owner endorsed by the LC1 Chairperson and by the City Veterinary Officer after verification of the farm.
He says they only allowed Ruti City Abattoir to open under strict surveillance and implementation of the guidelines.
Dr Moses Amanyire, the City Veterinary Officer says they have not fully lifted the quarantine and areas that still have cases are not allowed to do any livestock business.
He says they have installed checkpoints with foot baths with disinfectants, increased vigilance, and started sensitizations involving all farmers with hoofed animals.
Priscah Mulongo, the City Deputy Mayor says they have directed the enforcement team in areas that are still affected to increase surveillance but those that have been allowed to open to stick to the guidelines.
Samuel Mbangira, a farmer from Nyakayojo Ward has appreciated the partial lifting of the quarantine saying they have managed to contain the spread of FMD in their area because they heeded the regulations.
Dan Musiime, a farmer from Ruti village says the spread of FMD becomes hard to contain as people move cattle illegally at night. He notes that much as the farmers have tried to heed the regulations and guidelines, they are being let down by the cattle traders.
Frank Nabaasa, the Defence Secretary of Mbarara City Abattoir welcomed the partial lifting, noting that their only source of livelihood is the livestock business.
Mbarara City is among the 32 districts in the cattle corridor that the Commissioner of Animal Health put under quarantine following the FMD outbreak in November last year.
An infected animal presents with blisters on the mouth and feet, loss of appetite, fever, and a drop in milk production.