NTUNGAMO, UGANDA: Ntungamo district has partially lifted the Foot and Mouth disease quarantine in Kajara and Ruhaama counties almost six months after it was announced to contain the outbreak.
The government imposed total livestock quarantine on the sub counties of Rubaare and Ngoma in February following the outbreak of the Foot and mouth disease.
The district authorities have since been implementing control measures that include the ban on the movement and sale of cattle and their products from the affected areas.
The Ntungamo District Veterinary Officer Dr. Yake Basulira says that the disease had spread in other areas of the district but they have managed to contain it in the two counties through vaccination, the closing of livestock markets, and inter-county movements of animals.
Basulira says that the quarantine will remain in place in Rushenyi County where Ngoma sub county is hit hard with five parishes under strict surveillance.
He says they have installed checkpoints with foot baths with disinfectants, increased vigilance, and started sensitizations in Rushenyi involving all farmers with hoofed animals.
Basulira says the disease is now spreading widely in the dry season because farmers are in search of water and pasture. He advised the farmers to feed their animals in their respective paddocks.
Geoffrey Mucunguzi, the chairperson of the district FMD taskforce says they have deployed police, the army, and vigilantes along routes entering Rushenyi county to prevent traders and farmers from crossing.
He says the relaxation of the quarantine from the two counties is a hope that the disease will be eliminated from the district.
Eric Rumanyika, a farmer from Ruhara village, Ngoma sub-county says the spread of FMD is becoming hard to contain because people move cattle and cow dung for manure illegally at night.
Sam Nahabwe, a farmer from Muheta village in Ngoma says that much as the farmers have tried to heed to the regulations and guidelines, they are being let down by the cattle traders.
Ntungamo district has six cattle markets of Rubaare, Kagarama, Rwentobo, Nyakyera, Kiyoora, and Nyarutuntu of which Rubaare and Rwentobo markets found in Rushenyi County remain closed.
An infected animal presents with blisters on the mouth and foot, loss of appetite, fever, and a drop in milk production.