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Lyantonde opens livestock markets despite quarantine

By Davis Buyondo

Added 22nd February 2019 11:17 AM

It is a week since the district council resolved to open livestock markets. The leaders claim the district was free from FMD, an issue the line ministry has ignored for two years.

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Cows grazing in Kyemamba village, Lyakajura sub county. (Photo by Davis Buyondo)

It is a week since the district council resolved to open livestock markets. The leaders claim the district was free from FMD, an issue the line ministry has ignored for two years.

QUARANTNE     FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE

LYANTONDE- District leaders in Lyantonde district have defied quarantine against Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

It is a week since the district council resolved to open livestock markets. The leaders claim the district was free from FMD, an issue the line ministry has ignored for two years.

According to Fred Muhangi, the Lyantonde district chairperson and the District Veterinary Officer (DVO) Ronald Bameka, the line ministry had neglected their consistent pleas to lift the quarantine, yet people were suffering.

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

The outbreak was announced October 2017 in districts of Lyantonde, Sembabule, Luweero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola. Others were Mubende, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Bushenyi, Ntungamo, Sheema and some parts of Karamoja, but Isingiro and Kiruhura.

The outbreak Joy Kabatsi, the state minister for animal husbandry, to issue a directive restraining further movement and trade of animals and their products to avoid the spread of the disease.

But several district officials in Lyantonde challenged the minister’s order arguing that the district was free from the strain. According to Muhangi, the district had not registered any FMD by the close in November 2018.

“Our district veterinary department established that there was no strain yet the bigger population depends directly from the livestock for their livelihoods,” he said.

He further argued that in districts such as Rakai and Isingiro which were the source of the problem, their quarantine was lifted last year yet in Lyantonde which was free from FMD the quarantine was still there.

Bameka said the most affected sub-counties include Lyakajura, Kasagama and Mpumudde where meat dealers and livestock dealers have always complained about the effects of the quarantine.

Apart from the three affected sub-counties, Bameka, said livestock business is doing well in other parts of the district adding that the situation in these sub-counties improved.

Peter Kishokye, Peter Kishokye, a livestock farmer in Buyanja parish (Kasagama), said that opening the cattle markets came at the time most households were stranded.

He said that parents could not afford prompt school fees payment because the markets were closed.

According to Deogratius Bossa, the Lyakajura LCIII Chairperson, even with the quarantine, they would see several trucks carrying cows, goats and sheep crossing from Sembabule into Lyantonde through Kyemamba village.

According to minister Kabatsi, she is not aware of the district resolution that opened the cattle markets.

She added that she is to engage the district veterinary department to verify adding that they will lift the quarantine if there’s no strain at all.

Kabatsi further appealed to the district leaders to always check their information before making decisions since false information may affect public health and the economy.

“Politicians have a tendency of spreading falsehoods intended for cheap popularity for getting that their actions can cost the country dearly,” she noted.

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