Tuesday, September 29, 2020

‘FMD under control despite challenges’ – director

April 4 2010: Government’s effort to fight Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the prone areas seems to be bearing fruit as for the past four months, the disease has not been detected.

Director of Animal Health Dr Philmon Motsu told Sunday Standard that the fight against the disease in North West District (Ngamiland) and Okavango is progressing well.

Cases of the disease were last detected in November 2009 at Mmaseipei crush in Bodibeng area.
However, heavy rains in the area are compromising their job of disease surveillance as animals stray away from their kraals and the disease cannot be reported with certainty for this reason.
Heavy rains also compromise the job of vaccinating the animals.

Farmers are also not helping the situation as do not bring their cattle to be vaccinated , difficulties in maintaining the disease control fences because of the current heavy rains which makes access to the fence poor more especially after the flooding of the Okavango delta and channels some of which have cut into the delta.

Motsu added that they are faced with the problem of increased buffalo incursions into livestock areas because of fence breeches and that this increases the disease risk.
To address this problem, he said that they are continuously holding kgotla meetings and workshops with stakeholders as well as driving away buffaloes away from livestock areas.
He also said that they are currently constructing another disease control fence which runs parallel to the existing buffalo fence.

Motsu revealed that the construction of electric fence said that been suspended for technical reasons adding that that they have constructed a 194 km electric fence parallel to the buffalo fence on the fringes of Okavango river.

Flooding he explained causes major challenges to the construction and maintenance of the fence.

Currently, North West has 360,000, Maun Sub 310,000 whilst Shakawe has 50,000.

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Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.