Muchinga Provincial Veterinary Officer, Dr. Wilson Katumbi, disclosed to the National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS) that tissue samples from 99 cattle had tested positive for the Foot and Mouth Viral disease.
Dr. Katumbi explained that tissue samples from 101 cattle were sent for testing at Bamora Central Veterinary Research Institute (CVRI) in Chilanga and the results indicate that samples from 99 cattle had tested positive.
Dr Katumbi revealed that the cattle viral disease was detected in Chunga area of Muzamanzi Veterinary Camp of Chinsali district that borders with Isoka and Nakonde districts adding that he suspects that the disease could have come from Tanzania via Mbala district.
Dr. Katumbi said the lack of resources had hampered his office from instituting measures of curbing the spread of the disease and thereby putting the current Chinsali population of 5000 cattle at risk.
He has further disclosed that a pair of oxen within Chinsali Boma catchment area had recently manifested symptoms of the Foot and Mouth Disease adding that a Butcher’s transit kraal could be responsible for transmitting the disease.
He explained that the Butcher usually buys his cattle for slaughter from Chunga area and that he probably brought in some infected cattle that could have shared the same grazing ground with the affected pair of oxen.
However, Dr. Katumbi disclosed that the matter of mobilising resources was being urgently attended to by higher authority at the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock headquarters in Lusaka.
Meanwhile his office has arranged with Muchinga community-based commercial radio station to engage in sensitisation programs that will advocate for restriction of cattle movement and slaughter-ban in order to curb the spread of the disease.
He stated that once resources were made available, a massive vaccination exercise would be conducted in all the affected areas in addition to policing stock movement and slaughter ban.