Health Concerns Rise as Animal Quarantine Violations Persist in Pakwach

Controversy as Livestock Dealers Ignore Quarantine in Pakwach District
PHOTO - Courtesy - Controversy as Livestock Dealers Ignore Quarantine in Pakwach District
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Livestock traders in Pakwach District, Uganda, are openly disregarding a temporary animal quarantine imposed due to an outbreak of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP).

The quarantine, established in July this year, covers Payimur sub-county, Payimur Town Council, Alwi sub-county, Pakwach sub-county, and Panyango sub-county. It aims to prevent the further spread of these respiratory diseases that affect cattle and other hoofed animals. However, numerous livestock traders in the district are engaged in the unauthorized sale of meat and related products.

The black market sale of animal products is raising concerns about potential health risks to consumers. These products are considered unsafe for human consumption due to the ongoing disease outbreak.

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A livestock dealer from Payimur sub-county, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed how the quarantine has impacted their family’s livelihood. They stated, “This quarantine has greatly affected our family. Buying food and other basic needs for my children has equally become a challenge.”

Reports from local authorities indicate that animals are being slaughtered during the night and then packaged in black polythene bags before being brought to the market. Some traders are resorting to a door-to-door approach to sell animal products, particularly meat.

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Cosmas Masendi, a livestock farmer from Acana Village in Alwi Sub County, urged district authorities to strengthen quarantine enforcement and ensure that livestock farmers adhere to vaccination guidelines.

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Paul Eseru, the Pakwach Resident District Commissioner (RDC), confirmed receiving reports of widespread violation of the quarantine. Eseru expressed concern that these actions are undermining their efforts to control the outbreak. He directed veterinary officers in lower local governments to oversee compliance among livestock dealers.

Last month, the District veterinary department initiated a mass vaccination campaign to contain the outbreak. Robert Canpara, the Pakwach District Veterinary Officer, disclosed that the campaign successfully vaccinated 36,523 goats and 28,479 cattle across the five affected sub-counties.

Significantly, Panyango Sub County achieved a 55 percent vaccination rate for its estimated total goat population of 6,145, with 3,348 goats successfully vaccinated. District records show that diseases caused by mycoplasmas, affecting ruminants, have led to the unfortunate loss of 26 cattle and 246 goats.


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