Luanshya District has recorded suspected cases of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) which has affected over thirty herds of cattle.
District Livestock and Fisheries Officer Thomas Banda told ZANIS that the suspected cases of FMD were recorded in Chitwi farming block in Luanshya
Mr Banda indicated that samples have since been collected and will be sent to Lusaka on for laboratory confirmations.
“We have recorded some suspected FMD which had affected 30 herds of cattle mainly consisting of diary animals with calf’s among the worst hit,” Mr Banda said.
Mr Banda attributed the disease to the movement of livestock without observing the correct procedures.
“We have had cases of FMD in the neighboring districts and it could be possible to spread the infection through the transfer of animals which are infected into the district and that is possible if they did not treat or note the infection,” Mr Banda said.
He explained that FMD is presented by sores in the mouth and in the holves which renders the affected animal incapable of movement and eating, therefore an animal could die of starvation.
He further disclosed that Masaiti and Mpongwe districts had traces of FMD last year but were managed by banning the movement of cattle from and into the district.
He assured farmers that FMD is manageable and animals could safely get out of danger if detected early.
“The disease is not fatal if detected early, animals can came out of FMD safely but only takes a lot of time to recover especially for diary animals milk production reduces tremendously because the poor eating habits,” Mr Banda stated.
He has since urged farmers in the district to look out for FMD symptoms in their animals and also report any suspected cases.