The ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has issued fresh quarantine on the movement of cattle in the districts of Mbarara, Isingiro, Kiruhura, Lyantonde and Sembabule.
The decision by the ministry comes barely a week after reports of a new outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD), an extremely contagious viral disease which affects cattle, sheep, buffaloes and pigs.
Joy Kabatsi, the state minister for Animal Industry, says the outbreak of the disease originated from Isingiro where farmers have been reportedly smuggling in animals from neighboring Tanzania.
Kabatsi faults authorities in the respective districts for failing to implement a directive to vaccinate all animals brought into the country. She says her office has already directed the concerned officers to ensure that the quarantine is effected to check further spread of the diseases.
The decision comes barely five months after another quarantine spanning a period of more than 10 years was lifted for Isingiro district.
However, farmers and the political leaders have challenged the move and are instead calling for mass vaccination of the animals.
Donozio Kibanda, the councilor for Birere sub-county in Isingiro, said the ministry should move in and sensitize the locals. Norbert Ssemusu, a farmer in Mbarara municipality, believes the quarantine should be followed by serious efforts aimed at eradicating the disease.