Tuesday July 8 2014

Cattle markets closed over disease outbreak

Cattle graze in Napak District. Trade in cattle has been suspended

Cattle graze in Napak District. Trade in cattle has been suspended due to foot-and-mouth disease. Photo by Steven Ariong. 

By Steven Ariong

Napak- Napak District authorities have closed all cattle markets and slaughter houses in the area following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

Authorities also banned the movement of animals outside the district as a measure to contain the spread of the disease.

Dr Francis Inangolet, the district veterinary officer, said the closure had been directed by the commissioner of livestock in the Agriculture ministry.

He said more than 80,000 cattle, goats, donkeys and sheep are at risk of being infected with the disease whose presence was sighted last month.

“We shall not allow any movement of animals into and outside the district until further notice,” he said.
Foot-and-mouth disease is highly contagious and fatal. It affects cloven-hoofed animals like cattle sheep, goats and pigs.

It causes serious production losses. It can be lethal, particularly to younger animals.
Dr Inangolet said the disease has affected four sub-counties of Lopei, Matany, Ngoleriet and Iriiri.

The first cases of the disease were sighted on June 6. He appealed to residents not to slaughter or transport any animals in or outside the district.
However, the outbreak of the disease and subsequent closures will have adverse effects on cattle trade in the region.

Cattle buyers come from as far as South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and within Uganda.

Mr John Lote, a cattle trader, said the closure would affect house hold incomes.

“The cattle business is a major source of income. I have been particularly depending on it ever since I handed over my gun to government six years ago,” he said.