Foot and mouth disease (FMD)-2
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CTA. 2004. Foot and mouth disease (FMD)-2. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/03. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57158
Dr Julius Chulu, Principal Animal Health Officer at Lilongwe Agricultural Development Division in Malawi.
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)-2 Cue: Foot and mouth disease is best known, not for its impact on animal health, but for the implications it has for livestock trade. The disease is extremely infectious, and for this reason, when an outbreak occurs, all movement of animals or animal products from the affected area must be stopped until the outbreak has been controlled. For exotic breeds of livestock, particularly cattle, Foot and mouth disease can also have a significant effect on productivity, reducing milk and meat production and fertility. For indigenous breeds the effects are usually less severe, and only 5% of infected animals normally die from the disease. However, because of its economic importance, recognising the symptoms of the disease and obeying movement restrictions are both essential for livestock farmers, even if such restrictions cause economic hardship. Excello Zidana spoke to Dr Julius Chulu, Principal Animal Health Officer at Lilongwe Agricultural Development Division in Malawi, about this disease which has occurred several times in the country in recent years. IN: Foot and mouth disease? OUT: ?important disease worldwide.? DUR?N 4?07? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Dr Julius Chulu was discussing Foot and mouth disease with Excello Zidana. Transcript Chulu Foot and mouth disease is a very serious viral infection of animals. It affects all cloven-hoofed animals, that includes goats, cattle, pigs, sheep. So it is very serious and it is listed on the list A of World Animal Health Organisation?s list of very important diseases which, when they occur you have to report immediately to your veterinary authorities. Zidana But it?s contagious? Chulu It is a very contagious disease and the spread is normally by contact from a sick animal. Zidana What are the symptoms of this disease, Foot and Mouth Disease? Chulu Foot and Mouth Disease as the name entails is a disease which you can see from sores which have been in the mouth and in the inter-digital spaces. Like any other viral diseases they are the general symptoms but the most specific are sores that you see in the inter-digital space and in the mouth. So the animals drool saliva because they cannot swallow it is so painful they don?t eat. Most of them end up dying from starvation. Zidana Is this disease zoonotic in the sense that it can be transferred to human beings? Chulu No this disease is not a zoonosis. It is not transmissible to human beings. Zidana How do you control the spread of the disease? Chulu The disease, luckily enough, can be vaccinated against. The only problem is most developing countries do not have enough running resources to buy the vaccine. The vaccine is a little expensive. So most of our developing country livestock do not get vaccinated against it unless there is a serious outbreak. That is when resources are usually pulled specifically to fight against the disease, to control the spread. Zidana Do you have a specific office or maybe a laboratory to maybe check whether the disease is around? Chulu In Malawi for example we have the Central Veterinary Laboratory which has an epidemiology unit which constantly conducts surveillance for all list A diseases in Malawi and it reports periodically to the OIE office, to the World Animal Health Organisation office. So every time there is an outbreak it is this office which alerts the whole world that in Malawi there is an outbreak in such and such a place. Zidana Now what mechanism has the government or maybe your ADD, Agricultural Development Division put in place to make sure that the disease does not become a problem in our country? Chulu In our country there are constant awareness meetings. There is training, we have trained people in all the EPA?s. We have Assistant Veterinary Officers who are always in contact, telling the farmers that if you see symptoms like this and this please report immediately to your Assistant Veterinary Officer who can report to the Veterinary Surgeon and then appropriate measures will be taken immediately. Zidana Of late we have heard that the government was putting in place travel bans for animals, livestock. Were these bans successful? Chulu Yes, actually the travel bans we call quarantine. If there is an outbreak in an area, that area is supposed to be quarantined. No animal products or live animals are supposed to move from that quarantined area because the disease is a contagious disease. So if an animal product moves out you might be transferring the virus because the disease is caused by a virus. Zidana Lastly does this disease have an impact on the economy of the country? Chulu Yes this disease actually is not important because it kills the animal but it is very important because once there is an outbreak you cannot export anything from the area affected. So there is a ban from that area, you cannot export any animal products from that particular area. So unless the period certified by the World Animal Health Organisation elapses without any other outbreak then you can start again to export. So apart from just making the animals sick it is a very economically important disease worldwide. End of track