The outbreak can be attributed to changing ecosystems, cross-border trade and the evolution of the FMD virus.
Namibia has launched a livestock vaccination programme in a bid to control the spread of viral Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
The current outbreak is linked to SAT2 which has been confirmed for the past several years after laboratory analysis of samples from the animals. The country’s regulations mean that all cattle testing positive for SAT2 must be vaccinated at least twice a year.
Although the number infected cattle in Namibia is yet to be confirmed, a similar exercise in 2016 targeted 1.1m cattle, which were vaccinated three times using 3.7 million doses of the FMD vaccine.
The outbreak of the disease in the Kavango East region of the country comes a little more than a year after the August 2019 outbreak in Kobbe Constituency in the north east of Namibia. Restrictions related to the 2019 outbreak were lifted in May 2020; however these have been back in place since October 2020.
Restrictions include a suspension of trade in products such as hides, skins, game trophies, and grass and plant materials, both within and across the country’s borders as well as a ban on animal auctions and livestock shows.
The country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry says the outbreak can be attributed to changing ecosystems, cross-border trade and the evolution of the FMD virus.
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