Rwanda reports foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in cattle

APA - Kigali (Rwanda)

Rwandan ministry of Agriculture and Animal resources on Thursday confirmed an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle in several parts of Eastern Province, urging owners of livestock to take preventive measures.

The most affected  districts are Gatsibo, Kayonza and Kirehe where movement of any cattle  from the breakdown herd is prohibited with immediate effect, the  ministry said.

Cattle from herds restricted for disease reasons only may go directly to an abattoir, it said.

Foot-and-mouth  disease is a highly contagious viral disease of many wild and domestic  cloven-footed mammals, including cattle and swine.

According to  veterinarians only early recognition of symptoms and the prompt  notification of veterinary officials can help in successfully  suppressing it; thus the need for co-operation from herders.

As  part of preventive mechanisms, authorities are recommending in some  circumstances to get cattle culled and the cattle-holding place  disinfected in accordance with relevant prevention and control  requirements.

So far, the embargo does not cover milk products,  but authorities have warned that it might be included among restricted  products if the virus persists.

To control the outbreak,  authorities have urged herders to immediately report any suspicious  signs of the disease to local authorities.

Veterinary experts say that livestock diseases are significant challenges to the cattle subsector in Rwanda.


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