Agri-business

Southern Province gets Foot-and-Mouth disease vaccines

CHOMBA MUSIKA, Choma
IN A bid to combat livestock diseases, Government has delivered 356,000 doses of Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccines to Southern Province.
Foot-and-Mouth Disease or hoof-and-mouth disease is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed domestic and wild animals.
The virus causes a high fever for two or three days, followed by blisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness.
Provincial veterinary officer Charles Maseka told a media briefing in Choma yesterday that Government has delivered 356,000 doses of  vaccines,  which will be used to vaccinate livestock in Foot-and-Mouth Disease high risk zones in the region.
“We carry out biannual vaccinations against Foot-and-Mouth Disease in the province and for the second phase, we have received 356,000 doses which will be used to vaccinate livestock that are in Foot-and-Mouth Disease high-risk districts,” Dr Maseka said.
Foot-and-Mouth Disease high risk districts are Monze, Mazabuka, Zimba, Namwala, and Kazungula.
“Of the 356,000 doses Mazabuka will receive 51,000, while 70,000 doses are for Monze district.
“Namwala, Zimba and Kazungula will each get 180,000, 15,000 and 80,000, respectively,” Dr Maseka said.
He said the timely delivery of the vaccines is an indication of Government’s commitment to protecting the livestock sector against the negative economic impact of livestock diseases such as Foot-and-Mouth Disease.
Dr Maseka said Government will be conducting animal vaccinations against Foot-and-Mouth Disease free of charge.
He also said it has released K831, 565 for operational costs during the vaccination exercise, which is expected to start this week.
And Dr Maseka said Government has delivered 1,400,000 doses of Newcastle disease vaccines.
“To boost the lucrative poultry industry, which is threatened by the Newcastle disease, the government has delivered 1,400,000 doses of Newcastle disease vaccines, which will also be given free of charge to farmers,” he said.
Dr Maseka also said Government has delivered the second consignment of 35,000 doses of East Coat Fever (ECF) vaccines and farmers will be required to pay K15 per head of cattle.
“ECF is a management disease and farmers have to make a contribution of K15 for immunisation of their livestock. Some farmers have already started making pre payments for the vaccines,” he said.
Dr Maseka commended farmers in the region for being proactive towards livestock disease prevention.

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