Minister of Agriculture Development and Food Security, Patrick Ralotsia, has announced the suspected Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in the Ngamiland area.
Addressing the North West District Council, yesterday, Ralotsia explained that Department of Veterinary services in the Namanyane area, near Sehithwa Village on Wednesday detected some FMD symptoms in cattle.
He said an investigation was then instituted to substantiate the suspicions.
Ralotsia said he did not know how long the investigations were going to take but declared the closure of the Botswana Meat Commission in the District as well as other abattoirs.
“Until we finish our investigations all abattoirs would be shut. No movements of meat will be allowed outside and no more slaughter of cattle will be done”.
The Minister further clarified that the area has been free of FMD for the past two years. He urged residents to unite and cooperate in fight against the disease.
However, disgruntled councilors could not stop blaming the government for the collapsed veterinary cordon fences.
They further blamed shortage of FMD drug as one of the main reasons. Some suspected that researchers who were allowed in the forest may have spread the disease.
“It is shocking that after two years suddenly the disease is here again. We thought the newly introduced drug for FMD was effective, now it is a shock that we are back to square one again,” said Vepaune Moreti, Councilor for Boseja Ward.
For his part, former Council Chairperson Realeboga Mbulawa, said what mattered was for everyone to leave conspiracy theories and tackle the situation with a sober mind.
“Blaming and point fingers will not take us anywhere, rather we should stand up and fight this disease with diligence.”