FILE PIC: Cattle INSET: Dead hippo

Ngamiland farmers have experienced yet another blow after a potential meat market they were eyeing in the Okavango sub district was temporarily suspended following an anthrax outbreak in Shakawe.

The anthrax outbreak came in the wake of a recently detected Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) that saw the area once again being declared a European Union export red zone.

This was after more than 100 hippos were found floating in the Okavango river from Namibia where they were devastated by the deadly anthrax disease.

The Department of Veterinary Services in Maun have confirmed the suspension of cloven-hooved livestock movement from Okavango Sub District following the outbreak.

Ngamiland Principal Veterinary Officer, Dr Odireleng Thololwane explained that anthrax was a deadly disease which affected both human beings and livestock.

He said the suspension was engaged to avoid the infection to spread by all means.

Thololwane further explained that slaughtering of livestock for social events in the area was also suspended until further notice. “The suspension would therefore depend on whether the floating hippos have been cleared. If the situation continues we will have no option but to continue incorporating measures to reassess the situation. So far we have not received any report of contaminated livestock or human being”.

He however explained that teams engaged in the area to fight the outbreak have recently finished vaccinating livestock near the river and were extending it to neighbouring areas adding that public health about the disease was also underway with the help of Botswana Defence Force as well as the Wildlife Department and the Namibian government assistance.

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