Windhoek-The Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu says farmers at Musele Island must avoid transporting their livestock to other areas “until the FMD situation is contained”. The restrictions are due to the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Kabbe South Constituency, which the chief veterinary officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Dr Adrianatus Maseke, announced last week.
The outbreak has affected two kraals, and approximately 1,000 cattle are at risk of infection. Maseke explained the island is completely cut off from the mainland and is only accessible by boat due to high water levels in the Chobe River.
Sampofu said the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) is busy putting up prevention measures by vaccinating all cattle in the area, as well as roadblocks to restrict some commodities (cattle, meat, milk) being transported to areas not affected.
“We appeal to farmers in the affected areas to work together with DVS not to transfer or transport any restricted commodities. They should get all their cattle vaccinated and should not hide other cattle from vaccinations no matter the urgency of farmers’ utilisation of such animals – and comply with temporary restrictions put in place to contain the spread of FMD,” he urged.
Equally, Kabbe South Constituency Councillor John Likando cautioned farmers at Musele Island and the surrounding areas to cooperate with DVS and have their livestock vaccinated.
Likando said some of the severely affected villages around the island are Musee, Ikota, Singwe and Kalala.
He said the island is a buffalo free-roaming area, hence the area is prone to FMD.
Maseke said Musele Island and the surrounding areas within 10 kilometres of the island in Kabbe South Constituency is “declared an infected place in terms of Section 17 (1) of the Animal Health Act (Act 1 of 2011)”.
“We request the maximum cooperation of the public with veterinary officials to deal with this outbreak in the shortest possible time, and we are able to give the assurance that this outbreak is limited to the above-mentioned area, from where no external trade is allowed, and thus has no effect on trade in livestock and livestock products into and out of Namibia,” Maseke said.