- Botswana government has eased cattle movement ban two weeks after outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was reported at Kuke in Gantsi District, director of Veterinary Services said.
A ban on cattle movement to control FMD has resulted in the closure of Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) abattoirs in Lobatse and Francistown causing a shortage of beef in many parts of the country according to local newspaper Mmegi.
Vetenary official Moetapele Letshwenyo said movement of animals and their fresh products in all districts except Gantsi District zone 12 has now reverted to pre-Gantsi outbreak status.
"But movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their fresh products into, within and out of the infected and surveillance zones within Gantsi District is prohibited," said official.
Foot-and-mouth disease is an acute, highly contagious viral infection that inflicts cloven-hoofed animals and can spread over great distances with movement of infected animals, products, objects and people.
Veterinary officials said they suspect disease could have originated from movement of people between the infected area and the Ngamiland, which experienced an outbreak early this year.
They said though it is rare, kudus could have also transmitted the disease, as many of them had moved to the area after recent veld fires in central Kgalagadi Game Reserve.
Veterinary officials are currently culling 1,500 cattle at New Look Farm in Kuke area to eradicate the disease according to local media reports.
Botswana, one of southern Africa's biggest exporters of beef, together with Namibia, to EU market, is said to have already budgetted over $3 million in March this year for vaccination against foot and mouth disease.
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