KAMPALA: The spread of the Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) cattle disease is putting a halt to the process of evicting balalo herdsmen from the Amuru district, which is where the disease is found.
Samuel Ochor, the Amuru District Veterinary Officer, told URN on Thursday that the disease was confirmed about two weeks ago among dozens of cattle in Okidi North Parish, Attiak Sub County.
The disease was found in three kraals belonging to three balalo herdsmen named Stephen Bujingo, Sengabo, and Sabiti. They were all balalo farmers.
Like in other districts in Acholi, Lango, and parts of the West Nile sub-regions, the government is undertaking the second phase of eviction of balalo herdsmen from the areas following a directive by President Yoweri Museveni.
The Amuru District Veterinary Officer, who is also on the eviction committee, tells us that they are waiting for help from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animals, Industries, and Fisheries (MAAIF) before quarantining the district.
When Uganda Radio Network called the Public Relations Manager for MAAIF, Charlotte Kemigyisha, she confirmed that the disease had spread to Amuru district.
She said that the ministry has already sent a team from the Animal Health Department to look into the matter, and that a decision will be made based on what they find.
“The Ministry confirms receipt of these reports of a disease outbreak in Amuru district.” Our technical teams in the Animal Health department have been and are on the ground investigating these reports,” Kemigyisha told URN. “Once this has been concluded, the Ministry will advise the district accordingly.”
Samuel Akera, the chair of the Attiak Sub County, was not happy about the move. He said that balalo herdsmen and members of the eviction team in the area might try to stop the evictions.
Contagious Bovine Cattle respiratory disease (CBPP) is a respiratory disease of cattle that is notifiable. It is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa.
It causes productivity losses due to the high mortality and morbidity rates. CBPP is caused by Mycoplasma mycoides, susp. capri.
The disease affects both young and old cattle, and the only way to stop it from spreading is to kill and burn the bodies of the animals that have been infected. Even if they have been treated, they can still spread the disease.
Loss of appetite, fever, and respiratory signs like coughing and nasal discharges are some of the things that show up in CBPP.
In hot climates, an infected animal often stands by itself in the shade, its head lowered and extended, its back slightly arched, and its limbs turned out.
The carcass of animals suffering from the disease shows lungs with yellowish coverings.
Ochor says that if the disease isn’t taken care of quickly, the death rate per kraal with the disease can be up to 50%.
When the Ministry of Agriculture, Animals, Industries, and Fisheries (MAAIF) decides to quarantine a district because of the spread of a disease, the district veterinary department begins educating farmers about the disease while it waits for that decision to come.