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Foot and Mouth Disease: Rukungiri Farmers Count Loses

The ban on the sale of animals and their product has hit the farmers hard
Livestock farmers in Rukungiri are counting loses following the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease in the district two months ago. The disease was first reported in Kebisoni and Karuhembe sub counties prompting the authorities to ban the movement of cattle and sale of animal products. The ban on the sale of animals and their product has hit the farmers hard. John Byoryganda, a resident of Karuhembe Sub County says that before the disease broke out in the district he used to sell 50 liters of milk each day but this is no more.

He explains that despite the fact that they were stopped from selling any animals or animal products, they have to spend huge sums of money to maintain the livestock. Zephaniah Tumwebarize, a farmer in Kebisoni Sub County says that the two months quarantine has severely affected his income. He says that since the district imposed the ban on the sale of animals and their products, he has not recieved any income.

Charles Karikatyo, the chairperson Rukungiri Dairy Farmers Association says that before the foot and mouth disease broke out in the district, they were collecting 10,000 liters of milk every day. He however says that since the ban was announced the milk goes to waste as it can’t be sold for human consumption. Karikatyo says that livestock farmers in the district are now in a very tricky situation because they can neither sell the animals nor milk products.

Dr. Johnson Ninsiima, the Rukungiri district veterinary officer says that they carried out a mass vaccination exercise of cattle in Kebishoni Sub County. He says that they are waiting for result from the samples they submitted to Entebbe to ascertain whether the area is free of the disease before they decide their next course of action.

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