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Veterinary doctors warn on rushed MAAIF livestock census

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UVA: Focus should be on containing diseases at this point in time

Nakasongola, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The national association of veterinary doctors of Uganda (UVA) have advised the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry not to rush to conduct a livestock census without their input.

In a statement, they said a hurriedly held census will be a waste of money and produce distorted results that will not be beneficial to improving standards in the sector. The Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA) also warned about dangers of the farther spread of Foot and Mouth Disease by enumerators walking around the whole country.

“We are currently still battling out with the notorious Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) that has devastated our national herd. The solutions to FMD are yet to be resolved and instituted,” UVA President Dr Daniel Kasibule wrote to the census implementing agency Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

“We have notably realized that attention bas been given to SOPs ( Standard Operation Procedures) of COVID-19 but none to this livestock enigma. Other existing livestock epidemics like African Swine Fever (ASF), New Castle Disease (NCD) and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) should also be considered while drawing the SOPs,” Kasibule wrote.

The State Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Bright Rwamirama early this month announced that The National Livestock Census, 2021 will be conducted from next week,  May 17 to 28. It is planned to be conducted  in all four cattle corridor areas of Western, Eastern, Central and Northern Uganda.

The Minister said the National Livestock Census will ascertain a complete count of the country’s livestock and its associated characteristics. The last Livestock census was conducted in 2008 & revealed that about 4.5 million households (70.8%) rear at least one kind of livestock or poultry in Uganda.

Training of census supervisors starts

Training for National Livestock Census supervisors and enumerators is already underway, but UVA said the scope of training is insufficient for an exercise like this.

“Quality information that will be generated requires a minimum level of training that can understand production systems, different breeds, farm infrastructures, aspects of management of agricultural holdings disaggregated by sex etc. This will definitely require personal with higher animal related training, if not, will need training beyond the provided one week,” wrote Dr Kasibule.

A total of 32,486 Enumeration Areas (EAs) or villages will be covered in the whole country, 23,443 EAs in the 560 cattle corridor sub-counties while 9,043 EAs will be sampled & enumerated from the 961 non-cattle corridor sub-counties”

Kasibule also added that, ” It should be appreciated that the animal health workers understand the locations of the formers and their enterprises better; they are also in most cases already equipped with transport. They also easily appreciate the technical details of the census and their being end users of the generated information motivates them to gather accurate data.”

UVA warned that the census campaign has mainly been on social media, yet many veterinarians and ordinary farmers aren’t complaint to this mode of communication.

They advised that poultry, rabbits and piggery be included in the census and all cattle corridors be considered.

We appreciated the issue of financial constraint leading into some districts conducting total census (Cattle corridor) while others do enumeration area surveys. However many catttle districts have been omitted for example Kayunga, Buyende and Kamuli. The paradigm shift in farming due to population increase leading to increase in poultry, rabbits and piggery should be considered. Total counts of these especially in leading districts like Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Masaka and Mpigi need to be considered.

Kasibule concluded his letter by saying, “We pray that these concerns amongst others be considered as urgent for the smooth progress of this vital exercise.”

Another frustrated veterinary doctor, best illustrated the sector’s frustration by saying, “To us livestock specialists we want accurate and dependable statistics . This is the only chance for this marginalized sector.”

The Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA) is a Civil Society Organization of over 1,223 members with a mission of promoting professionalism, welfare and interests of members to foster better livestock service delivery.

Original Source: INDEPENDENT.CO.UG

FARM NEWS

Govt to import 10 million vaccines to control cattle disease

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Entebbe, Uganda.  Government is set to import 10 million doses of vaccines to enable scaling up of ring vaccination as the fight to eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Ugandan cattle enters a new phase.

Cabinet chaired by President Yoweri Museveni on Monday also proposed that once ring vaccination is complete, farmers start paying for the FMD vaccines in a compulsory vaccination scheme, and thereafter, trade in animal products, will be restricted to those adhering to the plan.

Minister of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fishers Frank Tumwebazwe on Monday shared the resolutions after Cabinet laid out strategies to contain the disease that has hit 36 districts.

Cabinet agreed to create a revolving fund to enable procurement of sufficient FMD vaccines to facilitate compulsory bi-annual vaccination of the susceptible domestic animal population. It also approved a plan for farmers to pay for the vaccines while government covers other costs.

“Vaccination is to be made compulsory. Proof of vaccination will be a precondition for any farmer to sell any animal products,” said Minister Tumwebazwe.

“I appeal to fellow livestock farmers and stakeholders to understand and appreciate these effort as we steadily move to eradicate FMD in Uganda just like other animal diesases like rinderpest wre eradicated.”

Ntoroko veterinary disease surveillance team conducting FMD surveillance and sample collection

The 36 districts currently affected and under quarantine are Budaka, Bukedea, Bukomansimbi, Bunyangabu, Butaleja, Fortportal City, Gomba, Ibanda, Isingiro, Kabarole, Kasanda, Kayunga, Kazo, Kiboga, Kibuku, Kiruhura, Kumi, Kyankwanzi, Kyegegwa, Kyotera, Luuka, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Mbarara City, Mityana, Mpigi, Mubende, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Namisindwa, Ngora, Ntungamo, Rakai, Rwampara and Sembabule.

All districts neighboring the affected districts are at high risk, under strict surveillance, and the authorities have been advised to remain vigilant.

These include Apac, Amolatar, Bugiri, Bushenyi, Butaleja, Hoima, Iganga, Jinja, Kabale, Kaberamaido, Kaliro, Kamuli, Kamwenge, Katakwi, Kasese, Kibaale, Kiboga, Kyenjojo, Mbale, Masindi, Mayuge, Mukono, Namalemba, Nakapiripirit,
Palisa, Rukungiri, Sironko, Wakiso and Soroti.

Tumwebaze assured farmers that in the next one or two months, his Ministry expects to receive and dispatch 2.3 million doses of the FMD vaccine to the affected and susceptible districts for ring vaccination scale-up.

He told parliament earlier that as a way of increasing availability of Foot and Mouth Disease vaccines in the country,
Uganda’s National Agiculture Research Organisation (NARO) has started the process of formulating and developing an FMD vaccine for Uganda.

Source: The independent

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FARM NEWS

Farmers losing Shs4 trillion due to livestock diseases

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ScienceDirect has revealed that farmers in Uganda lose more than $1.1b (Shs4.1 trillion) in aggregated annual direct and indirect loss due to the rising spread of tick-borne animal challenges, with the commonest and economically damaging tick-borne disease being the East Coast Fever.

The livestock industry in Uganda and its productivity continue to be threatened by a number of diseases many of which are tick-borne related.

This, Dr Anna Rose Ademun, the Ministry of Agriculture commissioner animal health, said results from arcaricides that have become resistant, thus the need to ensure collaboration and get solutions to the problem.

“There are ongoing efforts by the Agriculture Ministry, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation to support diagnosis of tick resistance to acaricides at regional laboratory centres but this is not enough,” she said during the livestock industry key stakeholders meeting in Kampala, which had been convened to discuss and prioritise areas for tick control.

The stakeholders included veterinarians, extension staff, farmers, processors and government representatives.

Ministry of Agriculture is already working on the Managing Animal Health and Acaricides for a Better Africa Initiative, which seeks to, among others, provide sustainable solutions to enable small-scale farmers maximise the potential of their cattle by developing and practicing methods that can successfully manage tick infections in cattle.

During the meeting, the TickAcademy App, which will support farmers in managing tick infestations was also pre-launched.

By the end of January, farmers and extension workers will be able to access the app’s educational content, which includes simple-to-watch films, to help them become knowledgeable about tick control.

Mr Enrique Hernández Pando, the GALVmed head of commercial development and impact, said the Managing Animal Health and Acaricides for a Better Africa Initiative will be important in tackling acaricide resistance challenges as well as help farmers and animal health officers to access creative methods of addressing the problem of acaricide resistance.

During the meeting, stakeholders jointly agree to train and sensitise field staff and farmers about tick management strategies that work, as well as strengthen the diagnostic infrastructure and testing capabilities for tick resistance and other animal health-related concerns.

Others will involve making it easier for farmers to obtain credit from savings institutions run by farmer groups at a reasonable cost so they may purchase specialized equipment for applying pesticides.

Mr Nishal Gunpath, the Elanco Animal Health country director south and sub-Saharan Africa, said they will support the Initiative to drive livestock in a better direction, noting that it will also help small-scale livestock farmers to maximise their potential.

Original Source: Daily Monitor

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FARM NEWS

Ibanda imposes livestock quarantine to curb anthrax

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Ibanda, Uganda.  Authorities in Ibanda district have enforced a quarantine on the movement of cattle and, the sale of animal products following an outbreak of anthrax.

According to the Ibanda District Chief Administrative Officer Ruhemba Kweronda, the district has registered sporadic cases of anthrax disease in Humans who are suspected to have handled meat from infected dead animals.

Kweronda says the disease that was first noticed in November last year was reported in Rugaaga 1 and IV villages of Keihangara Sub County, where nine people who confessed to having slaughtered a dead animal tested positive for Anthrax.

He adds that early this month one person from Mbonwa Parish Rukiri Sub County tested positive and currently 12 people from Kakoma are showing signs. He also said that two animals died abruptly in Kigarama ward Ibanda Municipality and samples have been collected and taken to the laboratory.

According to Kweronda, all slaughter activities and movement of livestock will be temporarily enforced for one month in Ibanda Municipality and Ibanda South Constituency.

He says other measures put in place to curb the spread of the disease include registering all meat handlers in the district, enforcing the requirement by all cattle traders to have cattle trading licenses issued by the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, carrying out ring vaccination of all suspected animal species in areas of Keihangara sub county Bisheshe Division, Rukiri Sub County and Kagongo division, but also continue sensitization and surveillance activities.

Dr Hillary Arinaitwe, the District Veterinary Officer says that they have written to the Ministry of Agriculture demanding vaccines.

In December, authorities in Kyotera district enforced a complete ban on the movement of livestock and its products to halt the spread of Anthrax.

For nearly a month, the district has grappled with a rare outbreak of Anthrax. This outbreak has claimed at least six lives and led to several hospitalizations.

Anthrax is a zoonotic caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-like bacteria that produces strong toxins that are dangerous to animals and humans. Ruminants such as cows, goats, and sheep can quickly die with their carcasses showing little signs of infection but in human beings, symptoms begin with a flu-like illness, raised boil-like lesions on the skin.

Meanwhile, officials in Kiruhura District have extended the closure of four animal markets to control the spread of foot and mouth disease in the district.

The four markets are Nyakasahara, Kyiebuza, Kyeshama livestock markets, and Kitura goat Market.

In the Circular from the Kiruhura District Chief Administrative Officer Charles Kiberu Nsubuga, to all lower local council chairpersons dated 12th January 2024, they should ensure continued enforcement of the directive.

Original Source URN via : The Independent

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