Malawi Government has suspended all livestock sales in Nsanje district following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the district.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development through its secretary Bright Kumwembe says there is an outbreak of the disease in cattle at Bangula dip tank and Magoli Extension Planning Area (EPA) in the district which is within the Shire Valley ADD.
Foot and mouth disease is a highly contagious viral disease that mostly affects cattle and has very devastating socio- economic consequences if not timely controlled.
According to the ministry, preliminary investigation conducted by veterinary field staff from the Shire Valley ADD and Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development indicates a total number of 60 critical cases out of a total of 581 cattle in 4 kraals.
The ministry further said a total of 65,000 cattle are at risk within the affected area and investigations are ongoing to establish the extent of the problem.
In conformity with the Control and Animal Diseases Act (Cap 66:02), and the World Animal Health Organisation guidelines, the Ministry has therefore with immediate effect instituted measures within the affected area from Dolo EPA and the whole of Nsanje District.
Among other measures instituted are temporary suspension of all livestock (cattle, goats, sheep and pigs) markets, temporary ban of all livestock slaughters, movement restriction of livestock and livestock products, banning of issuance of livestock movement permits, and roadblocks and patrols at Sorgin, Phokera and Mtayamoyo.
The ministry has also advised livestock farmers and the general public to cooperate with its officials and the police during the implementation of measures put in place.
The foot and mouth disease also affected cattle in the Lower-Shire area in 2015.