The Meat Board of Namibia last week joined the fight against the latest outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) that is rapidly spreading in the Northern Communal Araeas (NCAs) when it confirmed a donation of N$6 million shortly after an urgent Board meeting.
Confirming the amount Chairperson of the Meat Board, Patricia Gurubes, told Famers Forum at a Meat Board social evening after the board meeting that every bit will make a difference in combatting the most deadly and feared of all animal diseases in Namibia. The Meat Board’s donation came moments before the Cabine’’s announced that it is availing more than N$208 millin to for once and for all eradicate FMD. The first three cases of FMD were reported more than two weeks ago. The first cases were reported two weeks ago in Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions. The outbreaks have resulted in the control and suspension of certification of exports of both animals and animal products from this areas. At a special Animal Health Consultative Forum (AHCF) meeting held last week, the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), Dr John Shopala, briefed the industry on the following measures: Quarantine, Movement control inside the area, Screening, Zoning, Vaccination in response to the outbreaks, Disinfection at checkpoints along major roads
The CVO presented a list of equipment and consumables required by the Directorate of Veterinary Services’ (DVS) field teams. The CVO informed the meeting that a submission was made to Cabinet requesting emergency funding for the Minsitry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF)’s response efforts to control FMD incursions in the FMD Protection Zone, specifically in the regions of Ohangwena and Oshikoto. He further requested the industry to identify areas where they can complement the government’s efforts to ensure successful control and eradication of the disease.
Proposed Financial Assistance from the Meat Board
In light of the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS)’s request for support, the Meat Board of Namibia convened a technical subcommittee meeting to assist with identifying areas for support to the FMD response activities. Having considered the list of items presented by the DVS and outbreak response activities outlined in the FMD contingency plan, the Meat Board approved N$6 million to support the FMD emergency response. The areas proposed for support are: Urgent procurement of appropriate FMD vaccine, urgent deployment of five veterinarians to support field teams, supporting communication efforts, and strengthening biosecurity measures along the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF).
“The Meat Board is committed to support response activities that provide the best chance of success in reaching outbreak response plans set by DVS. It is important that there is a unified response from all livestock sector stakeholders in order to act with the speed required to control and prevent further spread of the disease.
“To achieve this we need to ensure guidelines, strategies and procedures are communicated and understood by relevant stakeholders. It must be highlighted that the industry has high expectations for timely and successful outcomes,” Gurubes concludes.