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Moroto Traders Defy Livestock Quarantine

In January 2019, livestock quarantine was imposed following an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, FMD. Consequently, sale and purchase of cattle, goats, sheep and pigs and their products were prohibited and all markets closed. The movement of cattle, goats, sheep and pigs and their products was restricted.
Cattle traders at Naitakwae Market on Monday.

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Traders in Moroto District have defied the livestock quarantine imposed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, MAAIF.

In January 2019, livestock quarantine was imposed in the district following an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease-FMD.  Consequently, sale and purchase of cattle, goats, sheep and pigs and their products were prohibited and all markets closed.  The movement of cattle, goats, sheep and pigs and their products was restricted.

However, many traders have resorted to conducting cattle trade in the bushes and some hidden places in Moroto town. Goat meat has been on sale in Camp Swahili market, South Division in Moroto Municipality for more than one month. 

Richard Odeke, a boda-boda cyclist says the goats are slaughtered every day in bushes and meat ferried to town in polythene bags. He revealed that the butcher men only sell the meat to specific individuals especially Boda Boda cyclists who buy for different people.

At the junction along Kitale Road and Lia streets, pork is now sold in the open. When URN visited the Teso Pork Joint last evening, it was operating with many customers on the table. 

Simon Ochom, one of the pork dealers said they have been selling pork for the last three weeks.

He also claimed that the authorities had given the green light on the business. 

But the Moroto District Veterinary Officer, Dr Moses Okino, said the quarantine was still in place until MAAIF directs otherwise.

“That calls for police action. No one has been given permission to trade in cattle or its products until ministry lifts the quarantine. We shall follow up with all these claims you have brought”, he said in a text.

Earlier on, Dr Okino revealed that animal health had improved where mortality rate had also reduced by 65% following interventions by the district and MAAIF after FMD outbreak. He explains that almost all animals in the district have been treated and vaccinated.

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According to Dr Okino, eating animals undergoing treatment increases chances of drug resistance in humans. He also revealed that Brucellosis, one of the diseases spread through consumption of milk and meat is on the rise in Karamoja since most people pay a deaf ear to veterinarians.  He notes that out of 50 patients tested over Brucellosis, 20 are found with the disease in Karamoja.

Moroto district is still struggling with other livestock diseases like Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia [CBPP], Lumpy Skin, Anaplasmosis and Black Quarter, among others.