Dairy Farmers on High Alert as Foot & Mouth Disease is Reported

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) has been reported in some parts of Laikipia County, according to the department of Livestock.

County Livestock Production Officer, Pius Butich, divulged that the disease had been reported in Rumuruti, Sosian, Mukogodo, Segera and Ngobit wards.

While addressing a County Steering Group (CSG) meeting on Friday, the officer said 60,000 heads of cattle and 100,000 sheep and goats (Shoats) had been vaccinated for the disease in June this year.

“There is need to vaccinate livestock in areas which were not covered during the June vaccination exercise carried by the County Government,” Butich noted as reported by KNA.

Veterinary officers attending to an ill cow

He pointed out that the wards which require urgent vaccination are Githiga, Marmanet, Igwamiti, Tigithi, Thingithu and/ Nanyuki adding that continuous surveillance and sample collection was on going.

The livestock officer cautioned that the heavy long rains might result in flooding with subsequent incidences of Zoonotic diseases, like Anthrax, Brucellosis and Rift Valley Fever (RVF).

“The current meteorological reports have sent alerts for Rift Valley fever, which is the most dangerous Zoonotic disease’’ Butich added.

He proposed the need to put in place early warning systems on high alert as part of measures to protect both livestock and humans against the disease.

Butich added that all field staff, public health administrators and local leaders should be alerted on the likelihood of an outbreak of Zoonotic diseases, livestock in high risk areas should be vaccinated, and all reported cases of livestock abortion, hemorrhage syndromes and deaths be investigated and serum and blood be sent to Central Veterinary Laboratory Kabete for scrutiny.

File of a cow with foot and mouth disease

The officer further stated that active surveillance would be intensified, with emphasis on areas that experienced the diseases in both animals and humans during the previous outbreaks and a one-health approach should be activated through collaboration with the ministry of health.

He noted that Ksh2 Million was required to purchase 50,000 doses of RVF vaccine and 60,000 doses of FMD.

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