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Worry As Foot & Mouth Disease Spreads To 32 Districts

Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa has tasked the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF), Frank Tumwebaze to present a statement on interventions to curb the spread of foot and mouth disease.

He said that the outbreak has led to concerns from farmers after the Permanent Secretary in MAAIF wrote to the Inspector General of Police to enforce quarantine in 32 districts in the cattle corridor.

“People in the cattle corridor would like to know when the quarantine will be ending and when the farmers will get vaccines. Many areas are affected and these farmers whose livelihood depend on these animals need to be appraised,” Tayebwa said.

This was contained in his communication during the plenary sitting on Thursday, 25 January 2024.

“We need to know how the disease spread to various districts and what measures are being put in place, long term plans to manage and reduce effects,” Tayebwa said.

He added that the statement is aimed at ensuring that all leaders are abreast with government interventions, saying that as politicians, they are likely to be questioned by their constituents.

“It is not that we are interfering but we want to be brought on board on what is happening,” Tayebwa said.

Allan Mayanja, (NUP, Nakaseke Central County) said that according to the district’s Chief Administrative Officer, 225 heads of cattle have been affected by the foot and mouth disease with some deaths recorded, in a period of two weeks.

“The ministry imposed quarantine but no vaccines. Imposing quarantine without vaccine is alarming. Farmers have lost cattle but what is government doing,” Mayanja said.

Abed Bwanika (NUP, Kimaanya-Kabonera Division) added that the ministry’s statement should include the progress made by the National Research Organisation (NARO) in developing such vaccines.

“NARO has invested heavily on innovation and ready to provide vaccines, they need funds. The minister should appraise government how far NARO has reached on developing vaccines,” Bwanika said.

The recent outbreak of the foot and mouth disease was recorded in November 2023.

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