Monday

Ministry issues guidelines to check livestock diseases

The State Minister for Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Ms Mary Mugyenyi, has issued new directives restricting cross boarder livestock movement.

The directive is to combat animal diseases said to be the biggest threat to the sector.

Mugyenyi, who was the chief guest at a workshop at Botanical Hotel on Friday on Animal Movement Control in Uganda, said that "refugee animals" were a big threat to disease control in cattle keeping areas.

“The boarder with Sudan in the West Nile Region and the Congo boarder especially in Bundibugyo have a lot of livestock crossing, mainly for market purposes. The business is good but this is associated with a lot of disease risks for our local livestock and we must act immediately,” she said.

She said if livestock movements were regulated, it would save the government and the farmers of expensive costs on vaccines.

The Assistant Commissioner, Veterinary Inspection and Regulation, Mr Wesonga Wanderema, said the ministry had set up animal movement control committees in all districts.
Wesonga said the police, local councils and chiefs had no authority to issue certificates (permits) of movement or slaughter of any livestock. “Many times especially in the villages where we have the majority of these livestock reared, the police or local authorities issue health certificates to permit the movement of livestock or their products. But this is a health issue and they do not have authority to issue the certificates,” he said.

He said the Animal Disease Act mandates the Commissioner of Livestock Entomology responsible for disease control and animal movement in Uganda.

Wesonga said the uncoordinated enforcement of veterinary laws had not allowed the successful control of livestock diseases. He said 80 percent of animal products do not conform to the Zoo- sanitary Standards required in marketing of animal products.

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