The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) has confirmed plans to start slaughter of cattle at its Maun abattoir during the first weeks of January, 2018.
Maun plant manager, Oabona Ramotshwana confirmed in an interview that after close to four months of closure, the meat agency will reopen the abattoir on 8th January 2018.
“Currently, we are working with the department of veterinary services to mend fences at Makalamabedi quarantine which not in good shape to carry cattle”, Ramotshwana said.
Following Maun a reported case of the Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) in Ngamiland, production at the Maun BMC abattoir has been temporarily put on hold in September 2017. In October, the commission said that abattoir in Maun will remain closed despite the revised movement protocol allowing movement of cattle with veterinary permits in areas 2a and 2b in Okavango.
At the time, Ramotshwara admitted that the recent FMD outbreak affected the region’s plans of looking for alternative markets. At the same time, BMC is said to be having beef as far as Mozambique which was destined for exports markets.
“We have instructed our partners in Mozambique to delay the export of the beef until we get further advice from the MOA. This is a blow to us as we were aiming at expanding our markets”, said Ramotshwara in October 2017.
The FMD has been reoccurring in the Ngamiland district for many years which is partly blamed on buffaloes in the area. The regular out breaks are also blamed on failure by some farmers to get their cattle vaccinated. Department of Veterinary Services vaccinates cattle for the disease annually. However, farmers on the other hand also blame DVS for failure to maintain cordon fences separating cattle grazing areas with wild animals more specially buffalos which are known carriers of the disease.