Government seems to be fighting an uphill battle against the spread of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) as frustrated farmers continue to smuggle meat from FMD infected areas to disease free areas.
On Tuesday, Maun Police caught and arrested four men in the act of smuggling meat from FMD infected area across the veterinary fence at a non gazetted point.
Maun Police Station Commander, Superintendent Kenanao Badumetse said that since the outbreak of FMD in Ngamiland region in March this year, police have recorded seven cases of smuggling of meat from effected to clean areas.
The concerned top cop further revealed that the three accused persons, three of whom were aged 22 while the fourth one was 32 were nabbed after the police spotted their Toyota Hilux with a suspicious looking load of firewood.
“Our officers approached them and found meat suspected to be of two cows which they were trying to smuggle into the green zone under the firewood load.Investigations to ascertain the accused men story that the slaughtered cows belonged to their father and they were going to sell the meat were still on, Badumetse noted.
“We are still going to find out if the cows indeed belonged to them because we cannot rely on their word alone.If it turns out that it is true that the animals belonged to their family, the young men would be charged with transporting carcasses without permits and fined between P500 to P1000. “
Their meat was confiscated by the police and dumped at a dumping site for disposal by burning.
Meanwhile the station commander advised farmers to follow the procedure of obtaining a licence from veterinary officers before slaughtering animals to avoid situations where their meat will get disposed on arrest.
One the accused persons received another charge for driving a motor vehicle without a licence.