May 19, 2020 / 1:18 PM / 15 days ago

Namibia lifts foot-and-mouth disease restrictions

WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Namibia has lifted restrictions that halted the trade and movement of cattle from Kabbe North Constituency in the north east of the country after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in August 2019, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

The viral disease, which causes lesions and lameness in cattle, sheep and other cloven-hoofed animals but does not affect people, was last detected in the area, which is located in the Zambezi region, in December 2019.

Announcing the lifting of restrictions, Chief Veterinary Officer Albertina Shilongo said more than 96% of the cattle in the region were successfully vaccinated against FMD.

“All the indications are that the FMD outbreak has been successfully controlled, hence the decision to lift all restrictions that were put in place for the purposes of controlling this outbreak,” Shilongo said.

According to Namibia’s national FMD contingency plan, the restrictions are lifted after three months from the last confirmed case in the FMD infected zone.

Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; editing by Barbara Lewis

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