Measures to control animal movement remain in place

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Chief veterinary officer Dr Milton Masheke says to facilitate safe trade of animals and protect the market access of meat and meat products to international markets, in line with provisions in the Animal Health Act, Act 1 of 2011 controlled movement regulations will stay in place until further notice.

These measures state 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 that they are vaccinated at least 30 days before they move and have been inspected before such movement.

Maseke 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 existing measures pertaining to lumpy skin disease will remain in force in the affected districts in line with the Animal Health Act, and urges all farmers to vaccinate their animals immediately to avoid heartache and disappointment and to ensure the shortest possible delay to normalisation of livestock movement in affected regions.

Farmers, especially in the regions of Omaheke and Otjozondjupa, have been hit hard by the outbreak of lumpy skin disease, while in most areas east of Windhoek farmers have to contend with the spread of kudu rabies.

The Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) has called on all livestock farmers to vaccinate their animals against lumpy skin disease, control biting insects and to report any suspected lumpy skin disease case to their nearest state veterinary services office as required by law for further investigation and advice.

A renewed call has also been made upon farmers and hunting farms to be on the lookout for incidents of rabies among any animals and to submit samples of animals which might be affected to the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Windhoek. It is necessary to get as many samples as possible and not only for kudu, but also for eland, jackal and other wildlife and livestock.

The most convenient manner is to submit the head of an animal to the laboratory. The head can be transported in a strong refuse plastic bag in cool storage. Fresh samples would be ideal, but there is a new method to do tests on samples which are a few days old.

Care should be taken when working with the dead animal and it is recommended that gloves and a mask are worn to prevent contamination. The laboratory should also be informed on which farm the animal was found, the owner of the farm as well as information about the symptoms, etc.

The project leader of the kudu/rabies research project, Dr Rainer Hassel, can be contacted for further information or to assist with the delivery of samples to the laboratory. Dr Hassel can be contacted at tel. 061 2909331, 081 3324514, rainerh@agra.com.na.

The contact person at the Central Veterinary Laboratory is Dr Jolandie van der Westhuizen, Section Head: Pathology, Parasitology and Virology Diagnostics, tel. 061 237684, fax 061 221099. The laboratory is situated at 24 Goethe Street, Windhoek.

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