Namibia’s Directorate of Veterinary Services said on Friday that a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in northeast Zambezi region has spread to four other villages, infecting 795 cattle in total.
The first FMD case in the latest outbreak was confirmed at Kasenu village, in Zambezi region’s Kasika area, on June 3.
The Agriculture Ministry’s chief veterinary, Albertina Shilongo, said the FMD infection is suspected to be due to either the contact of cattle with free-roaming buffaloes in the area or smuggling of infected cattle from neighboring countries.
“The investigation to ascertain the source of infection is ongoing. The spread of the disease to other villages is due to the movement of livestock to areas in the flood plain in search of better grazing,” she said.
Control measures are being instituted and will be in force for the next 14 days, Shilongo said, adding that after the 14-day period, the measures will be reviewed.
Emergency vaccination of cattle against the FMD has started in high-risk areas, she said.
“So far 68,544 out of 75,000 cattle have been vaccinated, representing 93 percent of the targeted cattle population. Farmers are urged to continue to bring their cattle for vaccination as the announcement of veterinary services,” Shilongo said.