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Gulu District Struggles to Contain Outbreak of Black Quarter Disease

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.
Cattle at Aswa Ranch-Photo By Stephen Okello

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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.

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