7 February 2012

Namibia: New Foot-and-Mouth Scare Hits Local Farmers

THE movement of livestock has been restricted in certain areas of Namibia after a lone African buffalo was spotted in the Otjituuo communal area in Otjozondjupa.

Anna Shiweda, acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, on Friday said cattle, goats, pigs, game and any cloven- hoofed animals may not be removed from the following areas for 21 days: Okakarara, Otjituuo, Okamatapati, Gam, Otjinene, Epukiro, Otjombinde, and Eiseb. In addition, these animals may not be moved for a width of two commercial farms bordering the restricted areas in Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, Okahandja and Gobabis veterinary districts.

Also included are all areas that have received animals from the restricted areas in the past 21 days prior to Friday.

All actions and shows in restricted areas are also cancelled for 21 days.

Shiweda said the buffalo was spotted last Thursday. It is believed that the animal might be part of the foot-and- mouth disease (FMD) free buffaloes of the Waterberg Plateau Park.

However, samples have been taken from the animal and will be analysed over the next few days to confirm the animal's FMD status and its origin, Shiweda said.

She said roadblocks will be set up at strategic points to ensure restriction compliance. Veterinary officials will also intensify surveillance activities, Shiweda said.

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