Ministry warns farmers of lumpy skin disease outbreak in Otjozondjupa region

The Directorate of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has alerted farmers about an outbreak of lumpy skin disease in the Otjozondjupa region.

This was confirmed by the ministry’s acting chief veterinary officer Johannes Shoopala in a media statement on Friday.

Shoopala said so far eight cattle from different villages in the Otjituuo and Okamatapati areas have been affected.

“Lumpy skin disease is a vector-borne, infectious, occasionally fatal disease of cattle characterised by nodules on the skin and other parts of the body, and is normally transmitted by insect bites,” Shoopala said.

He advised farmers in the areas to vaccinate their healthy cattle and to control vectors.

“Cattle showing clinical signs receive vitamins, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics to control secondary bacterial infection.”

According to Shoopala, in order to safeguard the meat industry and to protect the interests of Namibia trading partners, and in line with the provision of Animal Health Act of 2011, the directorate has instituted controlled movement of cattle in the affected villages.

“Cattle moving from affected villages are allowed on condition that they are not showing clinical signs and are vaccinated at least 21 days before such a movement. Cattle moving into the affected villages must be vaccinated at least 21 days before such a movement takes place. The above measures exclude animals destined for direct slaughter for clinically healthy cattle,” Shoopala added.

“The directorate is further requesting full cooperation from farmers during this time to ensure the shortest possible delay to normalisation of farming in the area.”

Farmers can contact the Okakarara state veterinarian at 067 317 901 for more information.

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