Gulu District Veterinary Department is struggling to contain an
outbreak of black quarter disease following the death of 50 cattle.
The black quarter is an acute animal’s disease characterized by emphysematous
swelling in the heavy muscles of the animals. The animals with the disease present with
symptoms which among others include sudden high fever and swelling on the buttocks.
The disease affects the shoulders of the animals, chest and neck as animals die
within 24 to 48 hours of appearance with the symptoms.
Gloria Aloyo, the Gulu District Information Officer says that the disease has
killed 50 cattle in Awach and Paicho Sub Counties in two weeks. He noted
that the disease was first reported in Arut Central village in Paicho Sub
County after the death of a cow under mysterious circumstances.
“We took the samples to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Animal Industry for test and the results confirmed that those animals are dying
of black quarter disease” Aloyo revealed.
Aloyo explained that the District does not have drugs to vaccinate the animals
and have asked farmers to seek the services of private veterinary officers.
Margret Lapaka, one of the affected farmers in Paicho Sub County says they are
struggling to pay the extension workers in the District 5,000 shillings for each
animal to get vaccinated.
Lapaka says she had equally lost the only cow because she could not afford to
vaccinate the animal adding that 5 cattle have died in her area.
“We would find the cattle dead and thought they were poisoned because even the
meat is black until we are told that it’s an outbreak of a disease” Lapaka added.
Simon Otema, the extension worker In-charge of Awach and Paicho Sub County says
that 339 cattle in the affected areas have been vaccinated.
He explained that the animals which have died are buried and the locals are
barred from eating as the District struggles to contain the disease.
However, Alfred Opiyo, the Gulu District Veterinary Officers says the disease
can still be managed when animals are restricted from getting into contact with
others from the affected areas.