The Ugandan government has lifted the ban on the movement and sale of cloven-hoofed animals following the eradication of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the Alebtong District.
The quarantine was imposed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries following a localised outbreak of FMD in October last year. It prohibited the slaughter of cattle, goats, sheep and pigs, as well as the sale of meat and meat products.
In a statement, District Commissioner for Animal Health Anne Ademun said the restrictions, which have crippled the regional livestock trade, were lifted following a “complete disappearance” of FMD.
“The quarantine restrictions that were imposed on Alebtong District have been lifted. The movement of livestock and livestock products may be allowed into, out or within the district with a movement permit issued by veterinary authorities,” Ademun said.
Strict new measures are being planned to enable veterinary staff and security officers to prevent illegal livestock movements to avoid a recurrence of the disease.
According to the Mbarara Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute, more than 350 000 cows have died of FMD, which has been confirmed in 63 districts since October last year.
The livestock/meat value chain is losing an estimated 23% of percent of potential income due to recurring disease outbreaks.