The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development yesterday lifted a ban on cattle movement from the Shire Valley district of Chikwawa after successfully containing the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak reported last month.
In a press statement signed by Principal Secretary Erica Maganga, the ministry says it has been monitoring the progress of the outbreak in Chikwawa within Shire Valley Agriculture Development Division (ADD) and that current surveillance of the disease indicates that there are no more new cases detected in the area.
The ministry further says it has also successfully completed vaccination of cattle at risk of contracting the disease.
Reads the statement in part: “Therefore, in conformity with the Control and Animal Diseases Act (Cap 66:02), and the World Animal Health Organisation guidelines, the ministry would like to inform the public that the temporary suspension of all livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep and pigs markets in the affected areas in the Shire Valley has now been lifted with immediate effect.”
It further says all livestock slaughters can now resume and that restriction of livestock and livestock products movement in the area has also been removed.
“However as prevention to any future outbreaks, livestock farmers particularly those around Lengwe National Park are advised to ensure that cattle do not graze very close to the National Park to avoid mixing with buffaloes that are carriers of the FMD virus and potential transmitters of the disease,” it reads.
Livestock farmers have also been requested to report any suspected cases of FMD to their nearest agriculture offices. n