Farmers in Ngamiland areas that were not affected by Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the last six months will be allowed to sell their cattle to Botswana Meat Commission (BMC).
Speaking in an interview, Maun BMC branch Manager Mothobi Mothobi said that in the coming weeks they will be getting cattle from some areas such as Chanoga and Shorobe as they were not affected by FMD in the last six months.
“There is no reason for us not to buy cattle from these areas as they are disease free. This should also be a relief to farmers who mainly rely on BMC to buy their livestock,’’ he said.
He also dismissed rumours that were doing rounds that they have closed their operations.
He said that in-fact they were running short of animals to slaughter in the month of October and that could have made people to believe that they have closed. “We slaughtered close to 800 cattle in September but we struggled to find animals in October and there was a week we did not slaughter anything at all.”
Mothobi said because of the challenges they had in finding animals, people could have thought that they had closed.
He explained that while slaughtering cattle from 2A and 2B areas which include Shakawe, Seronga, Nxaraga and Nxamasere and Kajaja respectively they discovered a poisonous plant known as Mogau (Dichapetalum cymossum).
The plant is notable as a common cause of lethal cattle poisoning and is considered one of the deadly plants with death occurring four to 24 hours after ingestion.
Meanwhile Mothobi said that he is going to arrange a meeting with butchery owners to talk about slaughtering for Maun market as was said by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Micus Chimbombi.
Chimbombi told farmers and butchery owners recently that the BMC abattoir in Maun will be slaughtering for Maun market.
The announcement came after butchery owners complained of shortage of meat while being denied the waiver that was issued by President to have them slaughter at non FMD areas. The Permanent Secretary then told them to continue using the waiver provided they will be accompanied by Veterinary officers.