Namibia: Buffaloes Test Positive for Foot and Mouth

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Namibia: Buffaloes Test Positive for Foot and Mouth
by Jana-Mari Smith

TESTS have confirmed that the two buffaloes recently destroyed in the Otjozondjupa Region were carriers of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

Dr Cleophas Bamhare, Director of Veterinary Services, yesterday confirmed that local and international test results had come back positive.

Bamhare said wild buffaloes are known to be carriers of FMD and thus the precautions taken in mid-August, after the animals were first spotted, took into account the high probability that the test results would be positive.

The two buffaloes were seen on August 16 in the Ekwenye area in the Okakarara constituency.

Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture officials were immediately deployed to track down the animals and destroy them. A 21-day quarantine was implemented in the area, which led to the closure of around 200 commercial farms and communal farming areas.

In addition, roadblocks were set up and farmers were put on high alert.

Veterinary officials continue with their inspections and so far no livestock have shown any signs of FMD.

Sakkie Coetzee, the CEO of the Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU), yesterday said that the NAU had "complete confidence" that Veterinary Services was the competent authority to deal with the issue and that the directorate would take measures "which are best for the country and for producers".

PJ Strydom, general manager of Namibia's Meat Board, was equally confident that the situation would be handled in the best interest of the country and livestock producers.

"The precautions which have been taken by Veterinary Services so far, we support those recommendations. They are doing physical surveys on the ground. And for the moment, everything is in place according to the international animal health regulations and we adhere to those," Strydom said.

Bamhare said although adult buffaloes did not easily transmit FMD the directorate would continue to inspect livestock in areas that could have come into contact with the two buffaloes. He said despite the precautions, there was still a real possibility that transmission had taken place and officials would remain on guard.


Source: The Namibian
 

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Jerome that is good information to have...

anyone in the area will have a difficult time bring back shoes or dirty clothing from the region.
 

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