Okakarara farmers bemoan precautionary livestock movement ban

17 Jan 2018 17:40pm
OKAKARARA, 17 JAN (NAMPA) - Farmers in the Okakarara Constituency have expressed concern about the ban imposed on livestock movement in the area due to a fear of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
Deputy Chief Veterinarian in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Dr Johannes Shoopala, on Tuesday issued a media statement where he announced the restriction on livestock movements in the entire constituency until further notice following the presence of a buffalo in the area, which was spotted and shot dead near Okondjatu.
Shoopala told farmers that the ban was precautionary as the buffalo might have been a FMD carrier.
“Therefore, the movements of all cloven hoofed animals and their products may not be allowed to be moved from the areas of Otjituuo, Okamatapati, Okondjatu and Okakarara,” he said.
The communal and commercial farmers in the constituency on Wednesday said the ban affects them economically, as they cannot sell their livestock or move them or their products from one area to another.
They explained that the indefinite ban may last for a long time as the blood samples from the buffalo were only sent to the laboratory in Windhoek for testing on Wednesday.
Speaking to Nampa on Wednesday, a communal farmer outside Okakarara, Natius Tjiuoro said the restriction on his livestock is a big blow since his livelihood depends on the sale of livestock.
“I don't farm with crops so what will me family eat?,” he said.
A commercial farmer at Farm Hamakari in the same area, Reinward Dorgeloh said the ban comes with losses, as he was issued with a cattle movement permit on Tuesday, which was suddenly cancelled Wednesday morning while his truck with cattle was on the move.
Thekla Kaangundue, another farmer from Ombujondjupa village said Government should repair the wire fence of the Waterberg Plateau Park in order to solve the problem once and for all.
Fransie Kausiona, an animal health technician at Okakarara who is involved in the surveillance of diseases in the area, urged farmers to be patient, saying the precautionary ban is good for the country and its economy as it collects revenue through the export of meat to various foreign countries.
An outbreak of FMD could have a negative impact on the exports.