The Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) has called on all Namibian livestock farmers to vaccinate their animals against Lumpy Skin Disease, to control biting insects and to report any suspected cases of Lumpy Skin Disease to the nearest state veterinary services office, as required by law, for further investigation and advice.
This follows an outbreak of the dreaded disease earlier this month, which led to the implementation of controlled movement of cattle in the Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions in the state veterinary districts of Gobabis, Otjinene, Epukiro, Okakarara, Otavi and Okahandja.
The outbreak is directly linked to the abundant late rains the affected areas have received and the activities of biting insects spiraling out of control as a result.
Chief veterinary officer Dr Milton Masheke says to facilitate the safe trade of animals and to protect the Namibian export market for meat and meat products, in line with the provision Animal Health Act of 2011, the controlled movement regulations will stay in place until further notice.
These measures stipulate that only clinically healthy animals will be allowed to move within the veterinary district, with proof that such animals have been vaccinated.
Animals moving out of the veterinary district will only be allowed on condition they are vaccinated at least 30 days before they are moved and have been inspected before such a movement.
Dr Maseke also points out that all animals moving to the affected state veterinary districts must be vaccinated at least 30 days before they are moved to the affected districts. He says the above measures exclude animals destined for slaughter.
He says the existing measures pertaining to Lumpy Skin Disease will remain in force in the affected districts in line with the Animal Health Act, and urged all farmers to vaccinate their animals immediately to avoid heartache and disappointment and to ensure the shortest possible delay to the normalisation of livestock movement in the affected regions.