Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development says the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak which was diagnosed in cattle in Mthumba dip tank area some weeks ago in Chikhwawa district in Shire Valley ADD (SVADD) is still putting cattle at risk.
So far, the ministry through the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development is vaccinating cattle in the area as a way of containing the disease and currently 91965 cattle have been vaccinated.
Malawian Pathologist, Gilson Njunga of Malawi’s Department of Animal Health, Central Veterinary Laboratory told Malawi24 in an interview that there is need for containing the disease by all means before spreading to other areas and countries.
“Basing on this current situational analysis and in order to avoid immediate re-emergency and further spread of the disease, the Ministry still maintains the originally set local, restriction control measures within and around Mthumba dipping area until when it is scientifically proven that the virus is no longer actively circulating in the affected area”, said Njunga.
Foot and Mouth Disease is a trade sensitive disease with socio and economic implications and mainly occur in cattle.
The disease sporadically occurs in Shire Valley which is a major beef producing area in the country.
Shire Valley ADD is continuously at high risk of FMD due to the presence of the virus in the local buffalo population within the Lengwe National Park which harbours the FMD virus. The current outbreak was confirmed on 4th September, this year and as part of containing the disease, ministry temporary suspended all livestock markets, temporary ban of all livestock slaughters, impose restriction of livestock and livestock products movement and also ban issuance of livestock permits.