NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Chinsali
GOVERNMENT has procured 100,000 doses of vaccines to vaccinate about 60,000 free-range chickens in Muchinga Province against the new castle disease.
Newcastle is a contagious viral bird disease affecting many wild avian species and it has a high mortality rate.
Muchinga Province veterinary officer Wilson Katumbi said in an interview recently that the exercise to vaccinate the indigenous chickens against the new castle disease has since started following the procurement of the vaccines.
Dr Katumbi said new castle disease is prevalent in Muchinga Province and it has the potential to wipe out all the chickens since it has a high mortality rate.
He said the disease is highly contagious and it spreads quickly hence the need for Government to ensure that the doses are procured to vaccinate the birds.
“As veterinary department here in Muchinga, our role is to ensure that we protect even the small livestock. Right now, we are vaccinating our free-range chicken, against the new castle disease,” he said.
Dr Katumbi said the disease has a devastating effect on the social-economic well-being of the people in that it can wipe out all their birds.
He said most farmers in rural areas rely on small livestock such as poultry to earn a living and they are happy with the efforts that Government is making to combat livestock diseases.
Dr Katumbi said the department is also working hard to control contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP),an infectious disease of cattle and can be fatal in animals.
He said Government has continued to buy vaccines for CBPP to help the livestock farmers in the district treat their animals against the disease.
Dr Katumbi said the farmers in the province are happy with the efforts Government is making in the area of disease control and prevention.