Cabinet has approved proposed strategies by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to control and eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Uganda.
According to Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries, the approved decisions targeting the short, medium and long term, will see immediate sourcing of 10 million doses of FMD vaccine to enable scaling up of ring vaccination in the affected and neighbouring districts at high risk.
Tumwebaze added that the cabinet also approved plans to create a revolving fund to enable procurement of sufficient FMD vaccines periodically in the Country to facilitate compulsory bi-annual vaccination of the susceptible domestic animal population.
Cabinet further approved a policy proposition that requires farmers to pay for the vaccines while the government pays for the cost of vaccine administration, transportation and storage.
In the Monday cabinet meeting that was chaired by President Yoweri Museveni, it was also resolved that when the revolving fund has been created and adequate vaccine stocks have started coming into the country, vaccination of all susceptible domestic animals be made compulsory.
“Proof of vaccination will be a pre-condition for any farmer to sell any animal and/or animal products. I appeal to fellow livestock farmers and stakeholders to understand and appreciate these efforts as we steadily move to eradicate FMD in Uganda just like other animal diseases like rinderpest were eradicated,” said Tumwebaze.
At least 36 Districts mostly known for cattle keeping have been placed under quarantine, stopping the movement of cattle and selling of beef because of the escalating spread of the FMD. The letter instituting the quarantine was issued by Maj Gen David Kyomukama, Permanent Secretary of MAAIF.
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock that has a significant economic impact. The disease affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.
The virus responsible for FMD is an aphthovirus, a foot-and-mouth disease virus. Infection occurs when the virus particle is taken into a cell of the host. The cell is then forced to manufacture thousands of copies of the virus and eventually bursts, releasing the new particles in the blood.