25 September 2017
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Friday, 01 September 2017 08:29

Malawi hit by Foot and Mouth outbreak

Written by  James Mwale

Lilongwe, September 01, 2017: Government Thursday disclosed that the country has been hit by an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, a highly contagious viral infection which attacks cattle.

Director in the Department of Livestock and Animal Health in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr Patrick Chikungwa, told journalists in Lilongwe that the disease has been reported in cattle at Mthumba and Tomali tanks in Chikwawa district within the Shire Valley.

"Ongoing preliminary investigations conducted on 30 August, 2017 by veterinary field staff from the Shire Valley Agriculture Development Division and Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development indicated total number of 26 cases in eight kraals as being affected, with an estimated total of over 10,000 cattle at immediate risk," Chikungwa explained.

He added: "In conformity with the Control and Animal Diseases Act (Cap 66:02), and the World Animal Health Organisation guidelines, the Ministry would, therefore, like to inform the general public that it has with immediate effect instituted temporary suspension of all livestock markets within the affected areas."

Chikungwa further disclosed that the ministry has also instituted a temporary ban of all livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep and pig slaughters in the affected areas.

Furthermore, there is also a restriction on the movement of livestock and livestock products from and into the affected areas, along with a ban on issuance of livestock movement permits from the affected areas.

Foot and Mouth disease is common in the lower Shire valley, especially during the hot season, according to Chikungwa.

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