Acting Minister Patrick Pula Ralotsia has said the 59 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)┬á cases diagnosed early March in Karang, Ngamiland prove the major contributing factor comes from farmers neglect to vaccinate cattle against the outbreak.┬á
Ralotsia, the incumbent┬á MoA Assistant, said during a media briefing in Gaborone last week (March 17) that after identifying FMD during a routine veterinary inspection, subsequent surveillance carried out from March 10 to March 15, 2015, cumulatively revealed the 59 cases involving three animal pen crushes at Maxebo, Mokgalo and Matopi II, broken down as 13, 11 and 35, respectively.
According to the distraught Acting Minister, “Another revelation during further inspections was that in one particular crush, out of 118 cattle, only six had FMD vaccination proof from the recent campaign translating to only 7%. Due to this disturbing trend, it has become apparent that the contributing factor to the FMD outbreak is that farmers are not playing their role fairly. In essence, FMD management should be a joint effort between MoA and cattle farmers. If, therefore, farmers are not bringing their cattle for vaccination, then government efforts will fail.”
The good news is: a tour of the affected FMD areas by the MoA Acting Assistant Minister Fidelis Molao made an encouraging observation that in the wake of the outbreak, farmers were receptive, supportive and pledged to co-operate in the containment and control, he said.