A suspected outbreak of foot and mouth disease(FMD) has been reported at the Namayane crush in Ngamiland, in Botswana’s North West Province.
According to the Directory of Veterinary Services’ Dr Lethogile Modisa, the disease was first spotted by farmers who noticed cattle with suspicious symptoms.
In an investigation, five animals showing signs consistent with the diseases, were identified.
“As a result, the slaughter and movement of cloven hoofed animals and their fresh products in and out of the district are suspended until further notice.”
Ngamiland falls in the FMD vaccine zone in the northern parts of the country.
The department called on farmers to cooperate with the ministry in its efforts to fight the disease and asked them to report sick cattle as soon as symptoms are observed.
Earlier this month, the country donated FMD vaccines to neighbouring Zimbabwe – which is still struggling to contain the disease – in an effort to prevent the disease from crossing the border.
The country is a major exporter of beef, especially to the European Union. A major outbreak in 2011 led to export bans from the EU, while large numbers of animals had to be culled.
In 2016, exports were temporarily suspended to major export destinations like the EU and South Africa, after stray buffalo were found outside the protected zone.