Ntcheu District agriculture, environment and natural resources director Edward Katunga has confirmed that seven heads of cattle have been affected by foot and mouth disease in the district.
This came to light on Wednesday during a sector management meeting. He said the disease has affected Ndembo II Village in Traditional Authority Ganya in Sharpe Valley Extension Planning Area.
“An investigation done by veterinary officials has revealed seven clinical cases out of 128 cattle examined in the area,” he said.
Katunga said although the disease, caused by a virus, usually affects cattle, it also affects other livestock such as goats, pigs and sheep. He said over 2 000 heads of cattle have so far been vaccinated.
Katunga also said the same cattle will be vaccinated again within two weeks.
He said a number of measures to control the outbreak have been put in place, including suspending livestock markets, banning the slaughter of livestock and restriction of movement of livestock and livestock products.
“We have also banned the issuance of livestock permits and will sensitise communities to the disease,” he said.
Katunga said the measures are in conformity with the Control and Animal Diseases Act and the World Animal Health Organisation guidelines.
Ntcheu District Council spokesperson Hastings Mlambuzi said the council will ensure that the measures are followed.
He said the council will also enforce the restrictions put in place by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development to deal with the outbreak.