By SARAH MWANZA –
LIVESTOCK and Fisheries Minister Michael Katambo says there is an outbreak of Anthrax in cattle in Limulunga, Nalolo, Kalabo, Shangombo and Sioma districts of Western Province.
Mr Katambo said the ministry has since restricted movement and quarantined cattle in the affected areas to allow for vaccinations to be conducted.
Mr Katambo explained that the disease was an endemic and usually controlled through Annual vaccinations of cattle at a cost recovery basis from the farmers, hence the ministry had intensified surveillance in all Anthrax hotspots.
“Given the epidemic nature of the current outbreak that commenced in late November 2016, the Government will undertake mass vaccinations of all cattle in the affected districts to contain the outbreak and will closely monitor the situation,” he said. Mr Katambo explained that Anthrax was a killer disease of human and animals, hence the farming community was advised to make their animals available for vaccination.
He added that the consumption of meat from animals that suddenly die should be avoided as it was the main mode of transmission of the disease to humans.
“In animals the disease is often characterised by sudden death and the changing of weather pattern may have contributed to the outbreak,” he said.
The minister also urged the people to suspect Anthrax for any cattle found dead and therefore the animal should not to be touched or consumed but reported to the nearest veterinary office.
Mr Katambo further called on the general public to be vigilant and report any sudden death of cattle in the all districts of Western, Central, Northern-Western and southern province.
The community members, traders, and the general public were further requested to cooperate with the veterinary officials in controlling the killer disease.
He said the department was taking necessary steps to contain the outbreak.