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Livestock Traders in Bugisu Defy Quarantine :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Livestock Traders in Bugisu Defy Quarantine

The ministry had ordered for the closure of all livestock markets and banned the sale of animal products. However, livestock traders in the three districts have defied the quarantine and opened new livestock markets in the districts.

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Livestock traders in the districts of Manafwa, Namisindwa and Bududa have defied a quarantine that was imposed by the Ministry of Agriculture in October.  The quarantine was announced following an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, a contagious disease that mainly attacks hooved animals.

The ministry had ordered for the closure of all livestock markets and banned the sale of animal products. However, livestock traders in the three districts have defied the quarantine and opened new livestock markets in the districts.

The livestock traders say that they are facing numerous challenges as a result of the quarantine. They also fault the ministry for imposing a quarantine on some districts in the region, while movement and consumption of animal products remain uncontrolled in Mbale, their mother district.

"I am disappointed. The ministry of Agriculture chose to quarantine three small districts leaving Mbale, where the disease was first detected before spreading elsewhere," Juma Kisiu a livestock trader in Manafwa told Uganda Radio Network. He says that his earnings were greatly affected.

A Bududa based butcher who preferred anonymity told Uganda Radio Network that he could not honour the quarantine because he needs to maintain an inflow of income in order to service a bank loan. He said that he slaughters two cows at 4:00 am daily and sells the meat from a hideout.

Manafwa LCV chairman John Musira says that traders are slaughtering animals and disguising the products as packs of cigarettes and rice. He says the district is taking action against persons who are defying the quarantine.

 

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Bududa Senior Production Officer Dr Felix Odong says they have started operations against the movement and sale of animal products in the three districts. Dr Odong says that traders had abandoned the old market structures and adopted new antics of selling off their products.

He appealed to residents, cattle traders and meat vendors to observe the quarantine in order to avert a possible catastrophe that may result from the consumption of infected meat. Humans are at risk of acquiring infections if they consume unpasteurized milk, dairy products or unprocessed meat from infected animals.

Bududa District Veterinary Officer Dr Vincent Okoth says that two livestock traders were arrested and 12 cows impounded in Nawanaza  Sub County where an illegal cattle market was created by livestock  Traders.  The two were fined up to 100,000 Shillings each prior to their release.

 

Charles Wabende, a resident of Namisindwa district called upon Government to vaccinate the livestock and sensitize farmers on how to control the spread of the disease.

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