The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) has made an impassioned appeal to the travelling public to abide by the inspection, searching and disinfection requirements at veterinary cordon gates should they travel from the north to the south of the country during the festive season.
The gates are Oshivelo, Mururani, Werda and Tsinsabis where veterinary officials are ready to do the necessary inspection, searching and contamination of vehicle tyres and footwear. The other veterinary gates in use include Palmwag, Anderson (Okaukeujo), Otjivasandu (Galton), Kamdescha and Palmfontein.
According to a press release issued by MAWF it is important that control measures are maintained to prevent the movement of cloven-hoofed animals, their products and other infectious material that may carry the FMD virus, which could jeopardise the integrity of the internationally recognised FMD-free zone south of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF) and adversely affect the trade in animals and animal products.
MAWF also announced that the number of veterinary officials at these cordon gates has been increased to expedite the decontamination and searching of vehicles for prohibited potentially infectious materials to minimise delays.
MAWF also encouraged vehicle owners to arrive with clean and dung-free tyres and mudguards to make inspections and cleaning go faster.
Posters and pamphlets explaining the control measures for FMD and what items are prohibited to move southwards from the north will be distributed at all the gates. Any queries from the public will be handled as usual by the officials in charge of the gates or the local state veterinarian.
“The ministry would also once again like to sincerely thank the Namibian nation as a whole, especially the farming community, the law enforcement agents as well as members of the general public for their extraordinary patience and outstanding support during these preceding difficult months.
“MAWF asks the nation to bear with them for a short while longer while they are doing all they can to ensure the situation normalises in the shortest possible time,” says the statement.