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Government lifts FMD ban in Eastern Province


Machona Kasambala

Government has with immediate effect lifted the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) ban on movement of livestock and livestock products within and outside Eastern Province.
Fisheries and Livestock minister NKANDU LUO says the lifting of the ban follows the containment of foot and mouth disease that broke out in Vubwi, Chipata and Lundazi districts in March this year.
Professor LUO says 60,000 doses of FMD vaccine were dispatched and the veterinary department has conducted two rounds of the vaccinations to control the disease.
She says besides the vaccinations campaigns, the ministry had put in movement restrictions and sensitizations measures to contain the disease.
‘The measures applied have borne fruit, the disease status disease has been resolved, as of mid-June, no new cases of FMD have been reported’ she said.
Professor however says while the restrictions on movement have been relaxed, animals must be inspected by the veterinary assistants before any movement is done.
‘In cases where animals are moving out of the district, the stock movement permit will only be issued by the district veterinary officer upon the farmer producing an abattoir assurance certificate and after inspection of the animals’ Luo said.
Eastern province was experiencing and an outbreak of SAT 2 serotype virus strain suspected to have originated from Malawi where FMD had earlier been reported.
Meanwhile LUO says her ministry will continue with surveillance and disease identification in Southern, Central, Copperbelt and Lusaka districts where the movement ban is still effective.
She says all affected areas have been placed under quarantine and issuance of livestock movement permits are under restrictions.
Professor LUO says the department of veterinary has stepped up biosecurity measures and sensitization of farmers and the general public of FMD.
‘once we are satisfied with the response to these measures, the ministry will in the next weeks update the nation of the status of FMD in the affected areas’ Luo assured.
Southern, Central, Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces are experiencing Serotype ‘o’ virus which the country has never experienced before.
The first case of FMD Serotype ‘O’ was reported on October 2017 in Mbala district of northern province suspected to originated from Tanzania through illegal livestock movement.
In March 2018, Chisamba district in central province reported the disease on 14 farms and later on March of 2018 the disease spread to Chibombo district.
In February 2019 the disease was reported in Monze district in Southern province and kept spreading to central, Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces through illegal movement of livestock.
FMD has since been reported in Mazabuka, Pemba, Gwembe, Namwala, Choma and Chikankata in Southern province.
In central province the disease has affected Mumbwa, Itezhi-tezhi, Kapiri and Kabwe districts while Chilanga and Lusaka district have been affected in Lusaka Province.
On the Copperbelt Chingola, Kitwe and Lufwanyama districts are grappling with FMD.

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