Uganda: Govt to Eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease in Three Years

The government has unveiled efforts to eradicate foot and mouth disease in order to boost meat export sector to the international market.

This was revealed during the official opening of the third IGAD-Middle East and North African countries for meat exporters and importers held in Entebbe

The Chief Veterinary Officer and Commissioner of Animal Health at the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Dr Rose Ademun said this is aimed at discussing the progress of livestock trade, the animal health challenges and solutions on importing and exporting sanitary requirements.

The high level meeting for meat exporters and importers attracted a number of private sector players from the IGAD member states to reflect on a number of issues with in the region affecting livestock trade.

Various issues discussed include the foot and mouth disease, different regulations from importing countries that hinder the exportation of livestock from Uganda and other IGAD countries to destined MENA countries

Ademun noted that the government is making steps to end FMD in Uganda in the next three years to enable the country meet international standards for meat exports and other livestock products.

In 2021, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicated that Uganda had got 14.4 million cattle, 17.4 million goats 4.4 million sheep, six million pigs and 57 million poultry where the normal off-take runs between 10 percent and 100 percent, and the government set to put up zonal areas to kick away FMD in Uganda.

She cautioned importers and exporters to engage veterinary services in the country they export and import to meet recommended standards that meet international market to avoid being imputed or banned.

The IGAD Head of Mission to Uganda, Joselyn Bigirwa, said the essence of the engagement is to review the progress of the collaboration, to collect feedback from the importers and exporters on areas of improvement, create back-to-back opportunity to the different companies and agree on how to enhance trade and investment.

This meeting was organised under the theme, "Strengthening collaboration for enhanced trade in live animals and meat" and with objective to promote live animal and meat trade and investment in livestock areas for enhanced delivery.

Dr Ricarda Mondry, the FOA Livestock officer, said there is a significant role played by IGAD and FAO in implementing projects to improve the supply of safe and quality livestock and meat exported from the region.

Exporters and importers from MENA countries highlighted a number of challenges affecting the smooth operations of their work including quarantine due to foot and mouth disease.

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