The European Union (EU) has lifted ban on beef from the Ghanzi area following the successful control of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), government officials said on Wednesday.
Moetapele Letshwenyo, the Director of Veterinary Services at the Ministry of Agriculture said the lifting of the ban was effective Tuesday this week.
Last year, the Department of Veterinary Services slaughtered 1 581 cattle in Ghanzi District in the fight against the disease in line with strict regulations contained in the marketing agreement between Botswana and the European Union (EU).
FMD is a contagious cloven- hoof disease that affects cattle, sheep, goats and pigs and normally culling exercise of the infected animals is used as the best option for contain its spread.
“Following the successful control of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Ghanzi district, the European Union (EU) has lifted a ban on beef derived from cattle in this zone with effect from 20 January 2009”, Letshwenyo said.
However, he said notwithstanding, control measures will continue as usual because there are several activities which the department of veterinary services want to complete to ensure that the disease does not recur.
These activities include completion of Kuke fence upgrading from Kuke to Qabo and conducting a sensitisation campaign on foot and month disease preventive measures to farmers on either side of Kuke fence. Government has approved P24 million for the eradication of the disease.
Letshwenyo revealed that the Department of Veterinary Services is discussing with Veterinary Authorities of Republic of South Africa to also lift the ban on Ghanzi beef.
Meanwhile, Letshwenyo noted that after over two months without occurrence of clinical FMD in the Ngamiland area, new cases have been reported in Spanplerk and Roomane crushes which are in Kareng extension area.
“Affected animals have been confined and the rest of the cattle in the area are being revaccinated. The department has observed that in some cases control movement protocols in Ngamiland are not observed as such it makes it difficult to contain the FMD outbreak especially now that it is raining”, stated the director.