Government To Seriously Take On Illegal Animal Traders.
Written by Derrick Asaba on May 3, 2021
“For Uganda to continue enjoying accessibility to regional and international markets for animals and animal products, there is a need to meet the prescribed sanitary measures one of which is the freedom from diseases,” stated Rwamirama.
Others measures among which the ministry is undertaking are strengthening animal movement control to curb illegal movement of animals by some stakeholders and high vaccination coverages in districts of frequent disease outbreaks.
This was said during a press address on animal disease management in Uganda at the Media Center on Friday by the Minister of Animal husbandry, Bright .K. Rwamirama.
To maintain Uganda’s regional and international market grounds, Rwamirama urged farmers and animal traders to uphold standardization of their products.
“Internationally, people are interested in what they are consuming and interested to know from which source. If we are to remain competitive, we must really match the standards and conform to these standards if we are to get value for our products,” Rwamirama stressed.
The minister further revealed that currently, vaccination is being carried out in 47 districts at risks of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) which broke out in February this year. He said that illegal animal movements highly encourage spread of this disease.
“Illegal animal movements within the country and across international borders for pasture, water and for trade purposes. In other instances, diseases spread as a result of cattle rustling . illegal and irregular animal movements is the biggest contributor to the spread of animal diseases,” he said.
He added that, “It is therefore important that animal movement control is regarded as important by all stakeholders in the animal industry if diseases have to be controlled.”
Rwamirama further revealed that the ministry procured 2.3 million FMD doses to carryout strategic vaccination of animals in affected and high-risk areas.
“The supply and delivery of this vaccine consignment was phased and so far 900,000 doses delivered and the remaining 1.411 million doses will be delivered in June. Currently, FMD vaccination has been undertaken in 47 districts countrywide and four districts that are most affected are Isingiro, Kiruhura, Kazo and Rakai,” he added.
Unprofessional practices like issuance of animal movement permits for animals from affected areas is one of the major factors that accelerates the spread of FMD according to Rwamirama and if found, these are to be punished.
“The last outbreak was caused by a bull which was bought from Rufura and taken to Sembabule.
Unfortunately, the person who sold it had refused to sell it to the neighbour who later bought it back from Rufura. The bull escaped from the herd and went to back to the same herd it came from and FMD started from there,” Rwamirama said.
With this in exercise, Rwamirama said that mass awareness among livestock farmers, duty bearers and other key stakeholders about the socioeconomic impact of the disease and its control measures has been done.
“I have moved out in the whole cattle corridor with the commissioners to sensitize farmers and stakeholders about these measures. We need to continuously talk and make all stakeholders aware of what is taking place and how we can solve this problem,” he stressed.
Some of the measures put by the ministry include;
All livestock being moved for breeding or slaughter shall be accompanied by livestock Movement Permits which state the animal origin and destination, the route and mode of transport.
Livestock must NEVER be moved from areas that are under quarantine restrictions to prevent animal disease spread.
Vehicles transporting livestock shall be inspected only at designated animal check points bearing a Q sign post manned by an authorized veterinary officer.