Vaccinate animals now!

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Windhoek

Legal action will be taken against farmers who fail to vaccinate their cattle, or those, who fail to present cattle to the state-funded vaccination campaigns, warns the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF).

The ministry’s acting permanent secretary, Abraham Nehemia, says in a media statement issued last week that all Namibian livestock keepers are expected to vaccinate their cattle against Anthrax and heifers older than six months but younger than 12 months of age must be vaccinated with the Brucella abortus vaccine. “All livestock keepers should note that only healthy and fully vaccinated animals are allowed to move to markets or abattoirs and therefore they need to ensure that the animals are well identified in the prescribed manner and all relevant information such as vaccinations and treatments is regularly provided to the state veterinary office to be updated on the central database.”

Proof of vaccination in the form of empty vaccine containers or valid receipts should be presented to the animal health technicians during their annual farm visits, or to the nearest state veterinary office in order for information on the farmers to be updated.

Regarding livestock keepers north of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF), Nehemia states that they must present their animals on specified vaccination days for lung sickness and Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccination, which is offered free of charge by the ministry. FMD vaccine is given two to three times a year depending on the location, while lung sickness vaccine is given once a year.

It is important for livestock keepers to present all their cattle at the specified times and venues to ensure high vaccine coverage and prevent lapses in immunity and potential outbreaks of these devastating diseases in the country, he cautions.

Nehemia reminds farmers that Namibia is renowned internationally for the quality of livestock and for the livestock products it produces and markets to the world.

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