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FMD outbreak detected at Olukonda

THE ministry of agriculture, water and land reform has declared the Olukonda constituency in Oshikoto region an infected area after foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was detected at the Onamulunga crush pen in the area on 28 December.

The Central Veterinary Laboratory in Windhoek further confirmed the FMD outbreak at Olukonda constituency on 29 December after two out of five head of cattle in the herd showed FMD clinical signs following physical examination by veterinary officials.

According to a press release issued by Albertina Shilongo, chief veterinary officer in the agriculture ministry, other regions such as Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena and Kunene are now declared disease management areas (DMAs) where strict measures are instituted.

The ministry has imposed a ban on the movement of all live cloven-hoofed animals within and out of DMAs with immediate effect, Shilongo noted.

“Cloven-hoofed animals include cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. Movement restrictions of other potentially infectious commodities out of the DMAs such as hides, skins, game trophies, grass, plant materials, etc, have also been imposed until further notice. All previously issued permits into, within and out of the whole DMAs are hereby cancelled and recalled,” she said.

She added that “a number of roadblocks have been set up at strategic points and patrol teams are deployed within DMAs to enforce movement restriction. FMD surveillance aimed at establishing the extent of the above-mentioned regions has been intensified and farmers are requested to bring their animals for inspections whenever announced by veterinary officials”.

Shilongo further urged farmers to bring their cattle for disease surveillance to the designated crush pens, as per announcement by veterinary officials. The ministry will use NamLits to trace all livestock movement from and into the declared infected areas.

The movement of raw meat and other animal products from FMD-free zones and from an export abattoir in the Zambezi region into the FMD-protection zone are permitted. However, transit of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products through the above-mentioned regions are not allowed.

FMD is a viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals found in all excretions and secretions of infected animals.

These animals breathe out a large amount of the aerosolised virus, which can infect other animals via the respiratory or oral routes and the signs include salivation, not grazing, limping, reluctance to move, fever, blisters and ulcers on the tongue, gums and on the hooves.

Shilongo said that the FMD outbreaks detected earlier in Kavango East and Kavango West regions are still continuing and all control measures instituted are still applicable.

“Farmers and the general public are hereby requested for their usual support in dealing with FMD outbreaks, and all suspected FMD cases should be reported to the nearest state veterinary offices,” she said.

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