Pakwach District in Uganda has initiated a vaccination campaign to combat Contagious Bovine Pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP), a severe disease that can swiftly claim the lives of goats and other animals. Dr. Robert Canpara, the district veterinary officer, shared that the Agriculture Ministry provided 40,000 doses for vaccinating cattle and goats. To date, they have vaccinated 15,965 goats in three sub-counties.
Goat farming is a profitable venture in the West Nile Sub-region and neighboring DR Congo due to high market demand. Many farmers, including Mr. George Kermundu of Panyimur Sub-county, had invested in goat farming to secure their livelihoods. Unfortunately, an outbreak of the disease resulted in the loss of 100 goats for Mr. Kermundu, amounting to a devastating financial setback.
CBPP is a silent killer that leaves no visible signs before swiftly claiming the lives of animals. Post-mortem examinations reveal darkened lungs and pancreas. To protect his remaining 400 goats, Mr. Kermundu has embarked on a vaccination campaign.
Other farmers like Mr. Paul Kinobe also suffered significant losses, losing 168 goats and 10 cattle to the disease. They suspect the infection spread through recently acquired hybrid goats in the district and have requested uncontaminated goats from the government.
The CBPP outbreak extended to the farm of Ms. Grace Nikumurotho, who lost 200 goats. This infectious and contagious respiratory disease of cattle is classified as notifiable by the World Organisation for Animal Health. It primarily infects the lungs upon inhalation of CBPP bacteria.
The disease first surfaced in Pakwach in April, affecting five sub-counties: Alwi, Pakwach, Panyimur, Panyimur Town Council, and Panyango. In total, approximately 76,000 goats and 36,000 herds of cattle were impacted.
To prevent further disease spread, Pakwach local government imposed a quarantine in the affected sub-counties and Murchison National Park in June. Mr. Paul Eseru, the Resident District Commissioner, revealed the formation of a task force and strategies to enhance vaccination and disease surveillance to manage and mitigate the disease’s impact.