Foot and mouth disease (FMD)-1
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CTA. 2004. Foot and mouth disease (FMD)-1. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/03. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57156
Dr Ndabezinhle Mkhwananzi, Veterinary officer in Matabeleland North province Zimbabwe.
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)-1 Cue: Foot and Mouth disease is one of the most devastating of livestock diseases, not primarily because of the health risk it poses to animals, but because of the economic losses that occur when outbreaks happen. Areas that see Foot and Mouth outbreaks are unable to trade any livestock or livestock products until the disease is controlled, causing much financial hardship to farmers. In order to limit the size of outbreaks, early detection of the disease and quick notification of the veterinary authorities are both essential. For this reason it is vital that farmers are aware of the signs of the disease, and are constantly on the lookout. In our next report, Sylvia Jiyane finds out more about how farmers and veterinary services must work in partnership so that outbreaks of Foot and Mouth disease can be tackled quickly and effectively. IN: ?Good livestock management relies ? OUT: ?Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe.? DUR?N 4?57? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: And that report was from Sylvia Jiyane. Transcript Jiyane Good livestock management relies heavily on disease control, and in our discussion today we shall be talking about Foot and Mouth disease. In our programme today I shall be talking to Dr Ndabezinhle Mkhwananzi, a government veterinary officer from Matabeleland North province in Bulawayo. He is going to start off by giving us a definition of the disease. Mkhwananzi Foot and Mouth disease is a highly contagious specified, or notifiable disease, which causes blisters in the mouth and on the feet of cattle. In fact all cloven hoofed animals ? pigs, sheep and goats, as well as the wildlife like kudus and impalas. Jiyane And what are some of the key signs and symptoms of this disease? Mkhwananzi Blisters develop in the mouth and between the claws of the hooves. The blisters contain a clear fluid. In time the blisters will burst, and what will be left there is raw skin sores, which will be sore and the animal will not be able to walk; it will become lame. And it won?t even be able to eat. Jiyane And Dr Mkhwananzi, if a farmer notices some of those symptoms which you have mentioned, what should he or she do? Mkhwananzi As I mentioned earlier, this is a notifiable disease. By law, if a farmer suspects his cow has got Foot and Mouth, he has to report to the Department of Veterinary Services, whereby in hours the Veterinary Department will quickly go there and confirm the symptoms, whether they are Foot and Mouth or not. Jiyane And is this disease one that can be treated? Mkhwananzi There is no treatment for Foot and Mouth disease. So the major thing is to control the outbreak of the disease. Jiyane And what are some of these measures? Mkhwananzi If the Department of Veterinary Services confirms that this is a suspicious case of Foot and Mouth, we will quickly put the area under quarantine. In fact this is the most important disease as far as the Department of Veterinary Services is concerned, not in terms of deaths and so forth, but the economic implications. So, people have to be on the look out for the disease and report it early enough. We put the place under quarantine, carry out vaccination campaigns. Then, after some time we go and investigate whether the disease is still there or not. Afterwards we shall then lift the quarantine. Jiyane For how long will you quarantine animals in relation to this disease? Mkhwananzi The initial quarantine will be thirty days. Jiyane And you have just mentioned earlier on that this disease is of economic importance. Can you clarify that? Mkhwananzi Right, when there is an outbreak of Foot and Mouth, no trade is supposed to take place. No animals are supposed to go for slaughter, or the milk to the dairy market and so forth. So it affects the economic activity relating to livestock. Jiyane And for farmers listening right now, what advice would you give them from your own experience of this disease? Mkhwananzi The main thing is to adhere to control measures, like movement of animals. They should come to the department for any movement of animals, say for distances of 5 kilometres or above, whereby they are issued with a permit, a movement permit. And inspections are carried out, to ascertain whether the animal has got any signs of Foot and Mouth or not. That will control the spread of the disease, and also the farmers are not inconvenienced when we put much stronger measures like quarantine and so forth. Jiyane And just to take you back, you mentioned that this disease also affects wildlife. Is there any way in which the Veterinary Department is involved in the control of spread of that disease in wildlife areas? Mkhwananzi The buffalo is taken to be the reservoir of the disease, that is, the carrier. The buffalo itself doesn?t get sick of Foot and Mouth; it carries the disease. So we prevent any contact between livestock, that is domestic livestock such as cattle, with the buffalo. All buffalo should be reported if they are sighted, so that the department will go and control them by culling. That is what we do. Jiyane I was talking to Dr Ndabezinhle Mkhwananzi, a government veterinary officer from Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe. End of track.