Botswana reports suspected foot-and-mouth outbreak

Botswana recently reported a suspected outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Ngamiland to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Botswana reports suspected foot-and-mouth outbreak

On Tuesday (19 September), Botswanan veterinary services were asked to investigate cattle that demonstrated symptoms of the disease.

The cattle were discovered in a communal grazing area near Sehithwa Village. Samples for testing were collected, but results were still pending.

The source of the outbreak was unknown.

Thus far, five animals have shown symptoms of FMD, while another 343 head of cattle has been identified as being susceptible. Movement restrictions had been implemented to prevent the spread of the disease.

At the North West District Council, Botswana’s Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Patrick Ralotsia, reportedly said that all abattoirs would be temporarily shut, and that no movement of meat, or the slaughter of cattle, would be allowed until investigations were completed.

Meanwhile, some people in the country blamed the government for the outbreak, saying that veterinary cordon fences had been neglected over the past few years, and that there was a shortage of FMD drugs.

Earlier this month, the government had donated 473 200 doses of FMD vaccines to neighbouring country, Zimbabwe, to prevent the spread of the disease across the border.