There is a sigh of relief in Nakasongola
district following a decision by the authorities to relax the livestock
quarantine, which has allowed residents to sell animals and raise money for Christmas.
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and
Fisheries slapped a ban on the movement of animals and their products Nakitoma,
Wabinyonyi Sub counties and Migyera town five months ago following an outbreak
of Foot and Mouth Disease-FMD.
The Nakasongola District Veterinary Office
enforced the ban, which saw the closure of butcheries and livestock markets in
the affected areas to contain the spread of the disease.
on Monday, Pastoralists through their area Councilors
petitioned Nakasongola District demanding the lifting of the quarantine for Christmas.
Samuel Butagasa Mwesezeki, the Nakitoma Sub
county LC V councilor explained that pastoralists are living in abject poverty
because of the quarantine.
He said the pastoralists were also unhappy there
they families would miss meat this festive season.
Butagasa pleaded with the district to lift the quarantine
to save the pastoralists and their families, saying no new case had been
registered in several months.
// Cue in: “Kyenjagala tukirizaganyeko…
Cue out;…ku lunaku olukulu”//
As a result, the District Council
and Veterinary Office resolved to allow the pastoralists to slaughter animals
this festive season within the confines of their farms and eat the meat there.
LC V Chairperson, Sam Kigula, says they also
allowed the pastoralists to load animals for sale on condition that they
transported directly to abattoirs for slaughter as opposed to public markets.
He however, said no meat stall or cattle market
in the affected area will be allowed to sell meat. He asked the pastoralists to
observe the guidelines to prevent the reoccurrence of the outbreak.
//Cue in: “But for those…
Cue out;…the ban”//
// Cue in: “Tugambye nti…
Cue out;…tetusubirayo midala”//
On Tuesday, butcheries remained closed. Dr. Gerald Kitaka, the Nakasongola District Production
Officer, said they are unable to lift the quarantine completely since there are
registering fresh cases of FMD in other areas.
He says lifting the quarantine
completely may lead to the spread of the disease, which can derail efforts to
eradicate it from the district. Dr. Kitaka however, says there is no danger if the pastoralists
slaughter and eat animals on their farms as directed.
In Nakaseke, the
authorities have maintained a total quarantine in Ngoma Town council and Kinoni sub counties, which are
battling the FMD. Fred Rwabirinda, the Nakaseke District Production Secretary,
says the restrictions are meant to ensure that infected meat isn’t sold to
Luweero district is free from the Foot and Mouth Disease. However, the price of beef has increased from
Shillings 10,000 to 12,000 a kilogram. Wilfred Nyombi and Nathan Matovu, both
butchers in Luweero Central Market blame the price increase on the quarantine
in Nakaseke and Nakasongola districts where they buy meat.