Elephants are hampering foot and mouth disease control by destroying cordon fences in areas where the disease is prevalent. This was said by the Director of Veterinary Services, DR Letlhogile Midisa, when briefing Ntlo ya Dikgosi.
He said that the problem is made worse by large elephant populations in the country which he said currently stands at 207, 000, adding that the alarming growth of elephant population has made their movement control difficult and that they have even infested unexpected areas such as Kweneng District.
To fight this challenge, he said that they have engaged the Department of Prisons and Rehabilitation, which is helping by providing repairs and maintaining cordon fences. Besides the prisoners, he said that they also use Ipelegeng employees for the same purpose.
On a positive note, Modisa said that FMD has significantly stabilized in Ngamiland. Ngamiland has for years been greatly affected by the disease, which left its farmers with no market for their livestock. He also told the dikgosi that his Ministry was in the process of destroying 30,000 small stock in the North East after the disease had spilled to them.
As of now, he said that they have received 7,765 small stock of which 4,994 have been slaughtered already. The outbreak has surprised many people in the country as it was the first case the disease has affected small stock in the country. It is reported that there has been similar outbreaks in Mozambique before.