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Foot and mouth disease spreads

By Edward Kosut

A quarantine has been imposed in counties under the North Rift Economic Bloc (Noreb) as more cases of foot and mouth disease are reported.

Agricultural officials from the region yesterday said at least 157 cases of the deadly livestock disease have been reported in the past week.

In a meeting in Kapsabet, Nandi County that brought together agriculture county executives and county directors of veterinary services, the bloc resolved to formulate common policies to check the spread of the disease.

“The disease has spread to counties in western and North Rift and the concerned sectors had to meet to deliberate on finding long term solution of the disastrous disease,” said Noreb chief executive officer Dominic Biwott.

Dr Biwott noted that counties worst hit are Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Nyamira, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot.

He said internal county livestock markets will not be affected by the quarantine since veterinary directors from respective counties in the Noreb and LREB economic blocs agreed to sanction licensing of animals into and out of the counties.

“The disease dangers are severe if the regions do not take decisive action. We have unanimously synergised efforts to save the livestock industry as early as possible,” he said.      

The economic bloc resolved to roll out mass vaccination against the disease from October 13 to 26. 

Noreb CEO said they will create awareness a week prior to the exercise in 20 counties whereas the National Directorate of Veterinary Services and the Kenya Veterinary Vaccine Production Institute are expected to provide subsidised vaccines.

“We have been having livestock from neighbouring counties and this must have contributed to the outbreak of the diseases thus prompted us to take restrictive measures on our animals to tame further spread of the disease,” said Nandi agriculture and livestock chief officer Wilson Lelei.  

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