Christopher Opiyo Ateker, the Gulu District Chairman told URN in an interview that the District Veterinary Officer –DVO has written to the MAAIF requesting it to lift the livestock quarantine since no case of the FMD has been reported in the district for the last one month.
The residents and the
local leaders of Gulu District have asked the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal
Industry and Fisheries –MAAIF to lift the livestock quarantine imposed on the
district over the outbreak of foot and mouth disease –FMD outbreak reported in
September this year.
On September 3rd,
Dr. Rose Anna Ademun, the Commissioner of Animal Health under the Agriculture
Ministry wrote to the Gulu District Veterinary Officer imposing the ban on the movements
of animals in and outside of the district after cases of the FMD were reported.
directive was followed by a vaccination exercise against the disease that was
carried out in Sub–Counties like Palaro, Awach, as well a Paicho targeting about 5,000 head of cattle.
Ateker, the Gulu District Chairman told URN in an interview that the District
Veterinary Officer –DVO has written to the MAAIF requesting it to lift the
livestock quarantine since no case of the FMD has been reported in the district
for the last one month.
// Cue in: “Gulu
Cue out …and mouth
According to Ateker, the
ban on animals’ movement in and out of some of the Sub–Counties in the district
has greatly affected their revenue collection since a number of the meat shops
in the affected areas have remained closed since September. He says the
quarantine should be lifted since they also carried out vaccination of animals
in the affected areas.
Charles Kidega, a
butcher in Paicho Sub –County in Gulu District says he used to earn between 20
to 30 million shillings every festive season but that his business has
collapsed this time round following the livestock quarantine.
Richard Kinyera, another
butcher in Gulu City revealed that since livestock markets in Gulu District are
closed over the outbreak of FMD, they are forced to travel to Lango or Karamoja
Sub –Regions to buy cattle to slaughter and that it is very costly to travel to
those far markets.
He says due to the cost
they incur on transport coupled with the high fuel prices, they have hiked the
meat prize to 14,000 shillings a kilogram from 12,000 shillings and that the
price might even go higher during this festive season.
Benson Mutundawano, a
resident of Oroko Village, Palaro Sub –County in Gulu District revealed that
the locals there are feasting on fish and stray wild animals that come from
Kidepo National Game Park. He says the government should lift the quarantine since
the FMD is no longer in their area.
Stephen Odong Latek, the
Gulu Resident District Commissioner, however, warned the locals against violating
the livestock quarantine saying they should be patient until the government lifts
it after carrying out a thorough assessment.
// Cue in: “Alego lwak
Cue out …Kampala pwud
Dr. Rose Anna Ademun,
the Commissioner of Animal Health at MAAIF however says the government is still
facing a shortage of the Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine but that plans are
underway to procure it.