Kunene Governor calls for support in eradicating animal diseases
EFFORTS by the government to eradicate lung disease among livestock in the Kunene Region will only be possible if traditional chiefs, senior traditional councillors, headmen and farmers join forces with the government in that regard.
The Governor of the Kunene Region, Josua //Hoebeb, said this in an interview with Nampa last week after a meeting with farmers who are unhappy that their livestock will be isolated because of a suspicion that the animals are infected with lung sickness, also known as Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CBPP).
“I congratulate the farmers who came to report the suspected CBPP livestock in their area. Their report will not just protect their animals from being infected by lung disease, but the whole region and the country at large,” he said.
//Hoebeb called upon traditional leaders and farmers in Kunene to assist the veterinarians in ensuring that they eradicate diseases that are a threat to their livestock, such as CBPP and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Farmers in areas where lung sickness is suspected should also allow their sick livestock to be isolated for testing and monitoring purposes to avoid further spreading of the disease in the region.
About 46 cattle in the Okangwati area of the Epupa Constituency in the Kunene Region are suspected to have contracted CBPP since the end of July this year when their owners moved to the Ombombo and Oviviero villages in the Opuwo Constituency in search of grazing. The infected animals are scheduled to be moved to the quarantine camp at Omutambowomawe today.
It is alleged that some of these cattle belong to Chief Hikuminue Kapika of Epupa, who headed the delegation that visited the governor’s office on Monday to register their unhappiness that their livestock would be isolated.
Chief Kapika told Nampa on enquiry that it is a lie that their cattle are sick, adding that they need to take the cattle back to the Ombaka vilage in the Okangwati area where they come from.
“How is it possible for vaccinated cattle to be infected with CBPP? It is just a lie, and the cattle do not even have any signs of CBPP or coughing to show that they have lung sickness, so I need the cattle back,” stated Kapika.
“If the cattle are CBPP positive, they would be sold to Meatco and farmers would get paid, and if the cattle are not sick, they would get their livestock back,” said State Veterinarian Dr Vimunika Mutjavikua when contacted for comment.
It is the second time that livestock in Kunene, especially in the Epupa Constituency, have been found to have contracted CBPP.
One hundred and twenty seven head of livestock were diagnosed with CBPP in the same area of Okangwati during March this year.