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February 5, 2023
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MPs call for a countrywide livestock vaccination

By Hannah Marion Namukasa

Members of Parliament want government to carry out countrywide vaccination of livestock to curb the spread of the foot and mouth disease in the cattle corridor.

The call was made after Napak District Woman Member of Parliament, Hon. Faith Nakut raised a matter of urgency during the plenary sitting on Wednesday, 03 November 2022.

Nakut said that Karamoja region has recorded an outbreak of the disease and several farmers have lost livestock.
“I inquired with the extension workers and they confirmed; I inquired with the Minister of Agriculture and he said he was aware. Many parts of the country are affected,” said Nakut.

She warned that failure to avert the further spread of the disease will affect the economy since the livestock sector contributes a lot.
“In these difficult times, we must take action when required to. The Ministry of Agriculture should provide guidelines for isolation of sick animals to avoid a lockdown given the economic challenges of locking down that sector,” she said.

Nakut also asked Parliament to ensure resources are appropriated to enable government to respond urgently.

Hon. John Bosco Ikojo (NRM, Bukedea County) revealed that in his constituency, over 100 cattle have died due to the foot and mouth disease.
“Teso Sub-region is facing a similar incident. The ministry should intervene,” he said.

Rushenyi County MP, Hon. Naome Kabasharira said that the disease has forced farmers to stop selling their animals.
She also urged the Ministry Agriculture to utilize district veterinary doctors to carry out assessments on the disease.
“I wonder if the ministry engages these doctors to provide information while making assessments. In Rushenyi, they are not selling anything yet this is the time people need school fees,” said Kabasharira.

The Minister for State for Agriculture, Hon. Fred Bwino said government will carry out an assessment, adding that a consignment of vaccines will be delivered to some of the affected areas by 10 November.
“We made a proposal to Cabinet to perform universal vaccination of all animals and this will be done three times. The proposal also intends to prevent animals from neighbouring countries from crossing into Uganda,” said Bwino.

He however, said that the ministry will require Shs500 billion to implement the said proposal.
“We have been advised by President Museveni that we need to come up with a sustainable way because such a budget cannot be financed by government. We will return with a comprehensive statement after making an assessment,” he said.

Speaker Anita Among however, directed the ministry to provide immediate solutions to tackle the disease.
“This should be on the Order Paper on Tuesday; it is a very serious issue. What is the Ministry of Agriculture doing on foot and mouth disease? We need action not a statement. We cannot afford to lose the few cows we have,” she said.

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