The government targets to vaccinate at least 3 million head of cattle by the end of the exercise, out of the total national cattle stock of 14.8 million, according to State Minister for Animal Husbandry, Bright Rwamirama.
Minister Rwamirama is worried that the quarantines might take longer than planned because of failure by officials and farmers to respect the guidelines.
The government has so far delivered nine thousand dozes of Foot and Mouth (FMD) vaccines to affected areas two
months after it announced a mass vaccination exercise.
The country has been battling an FMD outbreak since December
2020 when it was first detected in districts in the southern cattle corridor.
also expanded cattle quarantine measures to cover more districts like Isingiro,
Kiruhura, Sembabule, Kazo and Gomba as the disease spread further.
Restrictions on the movement of livestock and livestock products
were also imposed on more than 20 districts including Kampala, Wakiso, which are
along the transit routes.
The government targets to vaccinate at least 3 million heads of
cattle by the end of the exercise, out of the total national cattle stock of
14.8 million Shillings. This is according to State Minister for Animal Husbandry,
The total livestock number, including goats, pigs and sheep is
about 40 million.
Rwamirama says the exercise is not only for ensuring the supply of
safe livestock products for Ugandans, but also to protect the international
FMD Prevention is by repeated vaccinations of herds before the
outbreak to create the desired immunity to protect herds from possible
The Ministry procured 2.3 million FMD doses to carry out strategic
vaccination of animals in affected and high-risk areas, and by the end of June,
all the dozes hope to have been delivered, with a possibility of procuring
Rwamirama says the government cannot afford to vaccinate all the
animals in the country at a go but says that targeted vaccinations have been
successful previously, and will be the same this time.
//Cue in If we’re ….
Cue out:….transit areas.”//
Rwamirama is worried that the quarantines might take longer than
planned because of failure by officials and farmers to respect the guidelines.
In Uganda, the disease is largely spread due to illegal animal
movements within the country and across international borders for pasture,
water and trade, but also activities like cattle rustling.
The ministry also cites what it calls unprofessional practices
like the issuance of animal movement permits for animals from affected areas.
Rwamirama says if the local government officials, the farmers and
the general public followed the quarantine guidelines, it would be easier to
contain the outbreak in a shorter time.
//Cue in: “If people cooperate….
Cue out:….in Isingiro.”//
In April, some areas in Wakiso District were also put under quarantine after
cases were detected at a market in Kjjansi Township, prompting quarantine in
areas within a 20 km radius.
The government has also warned that there are people who are posing
as government officials selling vaccines to farmers, yet vaccine supply and
administration is only a function of the government.
The ministry is working together with Uganda Veterinary Board to
weed out people who are masquerading as veterinary doctors and
paraprofessionals, who are selling to them vaccines at high costs alleged to be
coming from Government.
“Most times, these vaccines are counterfeits, poorly stored and
sometimes administered at low dosages. Consequently, the purported ‘vaccinated’
animals come down with the disease making farmers lose money and their
Rwamirama clarified that not all farmers in a quarantined area
will have their animals vaccinated. Instead, he says if a herd is
considered not to be at risk it will not be vaccinated if the exercise is going
on in the neighbourhood.
He warned people, especially in Isingiro who are de-campaigning
the exercise to blackmail the government to lift the quarantine.