Vaccinate cattle or face legal action: MAWF

18 Nov 2015 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 18 NOV (NAMPA) – Legal action will be taken against farmers who fail to vaccinate their cattle, or those, who fail to present cattle for the state-funded vaccination campaigns, warns the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF).
The ministry’s acting Permanent Secretary, Abraham Nehemia said in a media statement issued on Tuesday that all Namibian livestock keepers are expected to vaccinate their cattle against Anthrax and heifers older than six months but younger than 12 months of age must be vaccinated with Brucella abortus vaccine.
“All livestock keepers should note that only healthy and fully vaccinated animals are allowed to move to markets or abattoirs and therefore they need to ensure that the animals are well identified in the prescribed manner and all relevant information such as vaccinations and treatments are regularly provided to the state veterinary office to be updated on the central database.”
Proof of vaccination in the form of empty vaccine containers or valid receipts should be presented to the animal health technicians during their annual farm visits, or at the nearest state veterinary office in order for information on the farmers to be updated.
About livestock keepers north of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF), Nehemia stated that they must present their animals on specified vaccination days for lung sickness and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccination, which is offered free of charge by the ministry. FMD vaccine is given two to three times a year depending on the location, while lung sickness vaccine is given once a year.
It is important for livestock keepers to present all their cattle at the specified times and venues to ensure high vaccine coverage and prevent lapses in immunity and potential outbreaks of these devastating diseases in the country, he cautioned.
Nehemia reminded farmers that Namibia is renowned internationally for the quality of livestock and livestock products it produces and markets to the world.
“This reputation is based on the maintenance of optimum animal health standards in the country. The farmer has an important role in ensuring that this status is maintained and this press release is a reminder to all Namibian livestock keepers about the compulsory vaccines that have to be administered to their cattle annually in terms of the Animal Health Act (Act 1 of 2011),” he added.