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Lyantonde struggles to control animal diseases

By Davis Buyondo

Added 13th March 2018 04:09 PM

Deogratius Bossa, the Lyakajura LC3 chairperson, says several trucks carrying cows, goats and sheep cross from Ssembabule into Lyantonde through Kyemamba village.

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Cows grazing in Kyemamba village Lyakajura sub-county. Photos by Davis Buyondo

Deogratius Bossa, the Lyakajura LC3 chairperson, says several trucks carrying cows, goats and sheep cross from Ssembabule into Lyantonde through Kyemamba village.

The district is yet to contain the prevailing Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) due to uncontrolled livestock movement, slaughter and sell of different animal products.

Despite the ongoing quarantine, the livestock and meat dealers in Lyakajura, Kasagama and Mpumudde sub-counties are still carrying out their business and moving livestock from place to place.

Deogratius Bossa, the Lyakajura LC3 chairperson, says several trucks carrying cows, goats and sheep cross from Ssembabule into Lyantonde through Kyemamba village.

He says the disease may kill animals and affect livestock business in Lyantonde if nothing is done to control the movement.

The FMD is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild animals.

 red uhangi the istrict hairperson in a meeting with ansagama residents Fred Muhangi the District Chairperson in a meeting with Kansagama residents

 
Its outbreak was announced in October 2017 in districts of Lyantonde, Sembabule, Luweero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola.

Others were Mubende, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Bushenyi, Ntungamo, Sheema and some parts of Karamoja.

Joy Kabatsi, the state minister for animal husbandry, issued a directive restraining further movement of animals and their products fearing severe consequences.

Lyantonde district authorities challenged the minister’s order to close cattle markets, saying the district is free from the disease.

However, Fred Muhangi, the Lyantonde Local Council (LC5) chairperson, says they are monitoring the situation and livestock movement.

Apart from the three affected sub-counties, Muhangi says livestock business is doing well in other parts of the district.

“FMD is largely in Sembabule and Kiruhura. Being nearby districts, we are taking precaution to avoid the spread,” he says.

In order to contain the disease, the Lyantonde Resident District Commissioner, Sulaiman Tiguragara Matojo, says the district veterinary department has closed several cattle markets in the three affected sub-counties.

 yantonde  atojo Lyantonde RDC Matojo.

 
However, residents in Kyemamba village (Lyakajura sub-county) claim their household incomes have drastically reduced since October when quarantine was imposed.

Gerald Byamugisha says he could not look after his family because the cattle markets are closed and animal movement restricted.

Joy Musimenta, another affected resident, says she used to sell goats and milk to meet her family needs, but with the quarantine, life is now hard.

She appeals to the district authorities to lift the quarantine and issue permits to animal dealers after inspection.

Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, says government will continue vaccinating animals to contain FMD spread.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) 2016, Uganda has a population of 14.3 million cattle.

However, it is estimated that over 350,000 cows have died across the country since the FMD broke out in October last year.

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