The Ministry of Agriculture has warned that the ban of cattle movements that was issued to the districts of Nyagatare, Gatsibo and Kayonza in Eastern Province would stay longer if farmers in the said districts do not take primary measures against continuous spread of foot and mouth disease that has hit a big part of Eastern Province.
The warning was issued by the Director General in charge of animal resources at the Ministry, Dr. Theogene Rutagwenda during his meeting with farmers in Nyagatare district.
Illegal trade of cattle from neighbouring Uganda to Eastern province of the country has been the main cause of foot and mouth disease.
Currently, hundreds of cows that are disease prone are camped at Gabiro military barracks as a way of desisting further spread of diseases.
However, according to veterinary officers in the area, farmers continue to practice illegal movement of cattle—adding more salt into wound as the disease continue to escalate other than being minimized.
“We are not in position to lift the ban if we still receive cases of farmers who practice illegal movement of cattle. Be the first to fight this if you want the disease to be cured so fast,” warned Dr. Rutagwenda who doubles as vice president of the world Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Regional Commission for Africa.
“The widespread of the disease which allegedly came from Uganda, is mainly caused by cattle herdsmen who illegally cross-over Rwanda-Uganda border and trade cows mainly on the black markets. This is a glowing issue in the area,” said Justin Zimulinda, an official with Rwanda Agriculture Board.
Dr. Rutagwenda called on farmers to take concrete steps to end the vice.