Friday July 11 2014

Foot-and-mouth disease ravage cattle in Nwoya

By Julius Ocungi

Gulu- Foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious livestock viral ailment, has broken out in Nwoya District, leaving more than 100 herds of cattle in severe conditions.

The cases have been reported in Alero and Kochgoma sub-counties. The disease is believed to have originated from Soroti and Ngora districts where livestock for the cattle restocking programme were brought from and distributed in the district late last month.

At least 198 short-horned zebu cattle were distributed to residents in the two sub-counties.
Early this year, the government rolled out the cattle restocking programme in Acholi, Lango, West Nile and Teso sub-regions which lost cattle during insurgencies against the government and rustling conducted by Karimojong.

Dr James Okwi, the Nwoya District veterinary officer, yesterday said: “We detected the disease late last month where the cattle under restocking programme is being confined before its distributed to the beneficiaries.”

He said measures had been undertaken to prevent spread of the disease in the district.

“The Commissioner of Livestock and Hematology has been informed of the situation on ground and at the moment we have imposed a quarantine measure to combat its spread to other areas,” Mr Okwi said.

He added that they have also embarked on mobilising agriculture extension workers to vaccinate livestock that are not yet affected and teach farmers on handling the disease in terms of first aid and isolating the affected animals from the unaffected.