At least 10 farms here have been quarantined amid fears of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak
At least 10 farms here have been quarantined amid fears of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak, with preliminary cases picked at three farms.
The move seeks to curb the spread of the highly contagious livestock disease which can wipe out entire herds.
The Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services in Makonde District has issued quarantine orders to 10 farmers surrounding the epicentre of the outbreak.
In a letter addressed to livestock holders, the department confirmed quarantining 10 farms until finalisation of investigations.
Reads the letter from the department: “In terms of Section 21, sub-section (4), paragraph (a) of the Animal Health Act 1970, you are hereby notified that suspected FMD cases have been detected at Chapman, Cecilmour and Takoma farms.
“Subsequently, these mentioned farms and following adjacent farms have been placed under quarantine until further notice.”
The department has also suspended the movement of cattle within Makonde District and outside.Other affected farms include Rukute, Petroswil, Wildene, Rosetta, Glen Louie, Kentucky and Chenene.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a veterinary services officer in the area said the department had taken the measures as a way of stopping the spread of the FMD disease.
“Currently, samples are being analysed to assess if the threat is really FMD,” he said.
“Although we have not yet confirmed the disease, as veterinary services, we take it upon ourselves to do whatever it takes to stop the spread of the disease.”
Makonde District animal health inspector Dr Jephat Ngondonga said he had not received any report from their Mhangura offices.
Foot and mouth disease is a highly contagious disease found in cattle and buffaloes.
Clinical signs of the FMD include temperature rises, blisters containing fluid developing between the jaws and hooves.
The suspected outbreak comes at a time when another outbreak of Theileriosis, commonly known as January disease has resurfaced in some parts of the country.
Government recently confirmed the resurfacing of the cattle disease