Foot and mouth disease outbreak in Shire Valley

Ministry of Agriculture has cautioned on the suspected outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Shire Valley Agricultural Development Division (ADD).

According to a Press Statement released by Secretary for Agriculture Sandram Maweru on August 4, 2022, the disease was first clinically reported on July 21, 2022 and has currently been reported at Jombo, Chaonanjiwa and Mnthumba dip tanks.

The statement has stressed that Foot and Mouth Disease was a highly contagious viral disease that mostly affects cattle with very devastating socio-economic consequences if not timely controlled.

According to the preliminary investigations conducted by veterinary officials currently, reported that 49 clinical cases out of 13 kraals have been affected with a total of over 3,000 cattle at immediate risk within the affected and the immediate surroundings.

It has asserted that investigations are still underway to establish the magnitude of the spread and map the extent of the problem.

The Ministry in conformity with the Control and Animal Disease Act (Cap 66:02) and the World Organization for Animal Health guidelines has instituted measures with immediate effect in the affected areas.

A cow infected with Foot and Mouth Disease

Some of the measures instituted by the Ministry in the statement are; temporary suspension of all livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep and pigs’ markets, temporary ban of the aforementioned livestock slaughters, restriction of livestock and livestock products movement and vaccination of cattle at high risk areas surrounding the infected centres among others.

The Ministry has urged the livestock farmers and everyone to cooperate with the officials and security agents during the implementation of these measures.

Meanwhile, the Ministry is conducting active surveillance in cattle, goats, sheep and pigs in and around the affected areas to ensure early detection and response for timely containment of the disease.