17 Jun 2015 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 17 JUN (NAMPA) More than 250 000 cattle have been vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Ohangwena Region, while vaccinations in the Oshana and Kunene regions will commence next month.
This is part of the first round of vaccinations to contain the FMD outbreak, which erupted in the Ohangwena Region last month.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) said in an update on the FMD outbreak on Tuesday, adequate vaccine stocks are available and more have been ordered from the Botswana Vaccine Institute. Half a million vaccines arrived from Botswana last month.
Acting Permanent Secretary of the Agriculture Ministry, Abraham Nehemia said in the update cattle need to be vaccinated initially twice 30 days apart and thereafter every four to six months until the disease is eliminated.
Mop-up vaccinations to cater for cattle left out in the first round of vaccination are also underway and farmers are urged to contact the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) offices in their areas or through the toll-free hotline 0800-80-98-40, he noted.
Despite efforts to contain and prevent the further spread of the disease outside the containment area, new cases of FMD were detected at two farms in the Mpungu Constituency of the Kavango West Region.
The new cases were detected while the DVS was undertaking surveillance in the area of the Mpungu Constituency, which borders the Ohangwena Region.
The containment area includes the whole of the FMD protection zone, which is made up of the northern communal areas west of the Shamagorwa veterinary fence. The fence forms the boundary between Mukwe and Ndiyona in the Kavango East Region.
The infected areas where FMD cases have been detected or areas close to where the disease has been detected are the whole of the Ohangwena Region, as well as areas in the Oshikoto Region.
The entire Etosha National Park is also a containment area.
These containment areas will be subjected to movement control, intensive livestock inspections and vaccination against FMD and lung sickness.
However, Nehemia warned that the infected area(s) may change as more surveillance data becomes available.
All movements of livestock within, into and out of the surveillance zone are hereby suspended until further notice. There will be intensive livestock inspections and farmers will be advised accordingly by the respective State veterinarians of their areas when their farms will be visited, he added.
Government has made available about N.dollars 119 million for the vaccination of close to 1.2 million cattle against FMD in the north-central regions of Namibia last month. The total budget for the whole exercise is more than N.dollars 208 million.
FMD is spread through the movement of infected animals and animal products, including contaminated vehicles, clothes, shoes and other objects.