Movement on livestock and livestock products into and out of these districts or through to other districts is immediately banned. Restrictions on the movement of livestock have also been imposed on another 24 districts, including Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono, which are named among the areas at a high risk of an outbreak.
Government has imposed a quarantine on five districts in
southwestern Uganda following the new outbreak of the Foot and Mouth Disease. The affected districts are Gomba, Isingiro, Kazo, Kiruhura
and Sembabule where the disease has been detected in many herds.
Movement on livestock and livestock products into and out of
these districts or through to other districts is immediately banned. Restrictions on the movement of livestock have also been
imposed on another 24 districts, including Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono, which
are named among the areas at a high risk of an outbreak.
The others include Kalungu, Kiboga, Kiryandongo, Kyankwanzi, Kyotera, Koboko, Mbarara, Lyantonde, Masindi, Nakaseke, Rakai, Nakasongola and
Rubirizi. At-risk districts are those bordering
national parks as well as those along the transit routes used by livestock
traders and exporters.
It is not known how many animals have been affected. But the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
has procured 2.4 million dozes for the vaccination of livestock in these
districts which is starting immediately, a program which will cost 13 billion Shillings.
The State Minister for Animal Husbandry,
Bright Rwamirama says selective vaccinations, coupled with cross border and internal
movement controls have previously proved effective.
//Cue in; “We are deploying…
Cue out…controlling FMD effectively.”//
Vaccination is free and compulsory, according to the
government, adding that he is already aware of the
losses that the farmers are likely to incur by not selling their milk, beef,
hides or live animals during the time of the quarantine.
Rwamirama says that the main reason Uganda has failed to completely eradicate the disease has to do with the indiscipline of the veterinarians, the
farmers as well as the failure to harmonise measures with some neighbouring districts.
//Cue in; “If the people ….
Cue out…they don’t know boundaries.”//
However, Medard Kakuru,
a Research Analyst at Economic Policy Research centre says that while the approach of
preventing and controlling FMD involving imposing quarantine restrictions,
vaccination and sensitization is the most effective approach, the numbers
“Indeed, these approaches are the most effective in the prevention and
control of FMD. What is worrisome, however, is that despite the government adopting
the recommended practices FMD has remained uncontainable. Consequently, the
quarantines are unending in some areas and take long to be lifted in other
areas, due to FMD re-occurrences”, he says.
Uganda has about 40 million livestock
including 16 million goats, 15 million head of cattle, 5.6 million sheep and 5
million swine. Kakuru notes that it might be too expensive for the
government to vaccinate all the animals in the country, which a nationwide
quarantine might also be too costly.
“Effective vaccination should cover at least 90 per cent of
the national herd and should be done before the onset of the disease, or at
worst, within the first two weeks after the onset”, he adds.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a viral disease of cloven
hoofed livestock and wildlife, including cattle, goats, swine, sheep and
It has occurred several times in Uganda since 1953 when it
was first confirmed. It is characterised by fever and blister-like
sores on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between the
The disease causes severe production losses,
and while the majority of affected animals recover, the disease often leaves
them weakened and highly unproductive.