Maputo — The Mozambican veterinary authorities have started to import one and a half million doses of vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease to respond to the outbreak of this livestock disease, which has already been confirmed in the districts of Chifunde and Marávia, in the central province of Tete.
The acquisition of the vaccines, to be administered to more than 750,000 cattle in the high-risk areas, comes at a time when the southern region of Africa is under an outbreak of this viral strain.
The scenario, according to the Maputo daily "Notícias", has led experts from the region to draw up an action plan to stop the spread of the disease. So far, in addition to Mozambique, the disease has been reported in Malawi, Zambia and South Africa, raising the maximum alert in this part of the African continent.
A source from the National Directorate of Livestock Development (DNDP) said a few days ago that the vaccines should be purchased in Botswana.
The distribution of vaccines will take into account the vulnerability of the regions to the fever, focusing on the border districts of Maputo (south), Gaza (south), Manica (center), Tete (center), Niassa (north) and Zambezia (center).
After the confirmation of cases of foot-and-mouth disease in Tete, the national authorities decided to ban the movement of cattle, goats, pigs and sheep throughout the province of Tete, for breeding or for slaughter.
As measure to stop the spread of the disease, the transit of fodder for the feeding of cattle from the districts of Chifunde, Maravia and Macanga, and the concentration of animals for any purpose without the permission of the veterinary authority was also suspended.
The circulation of animals in the rest of the country is only allowed, once the procedures for the internal transit of the livestock and/or their by-products are observed, including a registration certificate of the means of transport, issued by the competent authority.