Govt warns of outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Lilongwe district

Lilongwe: Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has announced that there is a suspected outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) that has been reported in in Lilongwe district.

Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Gray Nyandule Phiri disclosed this Tuesday in a Press release issued in Lilongwe about the suspected FMD.

He said the outbreak has been reported in Nyanja, Chitsime, Mkwinda, Chigonthi, Demera and Malingunde Extension Planning Areas (EPAs) in Lilongwe District.

The disease is a highly contagious viral disease that mostly affects cattle. On-going preliminary investigations conducted by the Ministry have established a total number of 217 clinical cases as follows 99 cases registered in five sections of Nyanja, Chitsime and Mkwinda EPAs. Over 64 cases in four kholas within Chigonthi EPA and 54 cases in Thawale EPA in seven kholas, Phiri stated

He said fresh cases were recorded from several kholas around Dickson in Malingunde EPA.

The affected EPA’s have an estimated total population of 45,000 cattle currently at risk. In conformity with the Control and Animal Diseases Act (Cap 66:02), and the World Animal Health organization guidelines, the Ministry wishes to inform the public that it has with immediate effect instituted the following measures within the affected areas, the Secretary for Agriculture pointed out

Phiri said, Temporary suspension of all livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep and pig markets, temporary ban of all livestock for slaughters and restriction of livestock and livestock products movement from and in the affected areas.

He said the ban on issuance of livestock movement permits from the affected areas and Instituted roadblocks and patrols at strategic points.

Phiri said the Ministry will carry out intensified awareness of the livestock community on the outbreak.

The Ministry would like to inform the public that it is working to contain the outbreak and will continue to provide updates. It is urging livestock farmers and the public to cooperate with its Veterinary Officers and the Malawi Police Service during the implementation of the measures, he Secretary added

He said for further information and clarification, members of the public please could contact Dr. Patrick Chikungwa on 0 888 371 509 or Dr. Gilson Njunga on 0 995 910 460 of the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development.

Two months ago Neno district was affected by football and mouth disease outbreak where a ban of selling and transport livestock meat and their products were suspended until the situation returned to normal.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA