The absence of holding grounds for impounded livestock is affecting efforts to contain the spreading of the Foot and Mouth Disease(FMD) in Kiruhura and Kazo districts. The two districts have been fighting the highly contagious FMD since December last year.
As a part of the containment measures, authorities in both districts decided to impose quarantine on the areas affected by FMD. They also resolved to hold infected cattle in one area, which has become difficult due to the absence of a holding ground.
Dr. Grace Asiimwe, the Kiruhura District Veterinary Officer, says that the holding ground they are using is small and lacks a fence thereby exposing other animals to infection. She explains that before presenting the impounded animals to court, they need to hold them in one place as they process the files.
Dan Mukago, the Kiruhura District LC V chairperson, says that they are currently using prison land to keep the infected cattle. He, however, says that they find a challenge whenever prison authorities want to use the land.
“I was informed by one of the commissioners in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries that there are two livestock holding grounds in the district but nobody seems to know their location,” he said
Rev. Samuel Mugisha, the Kazo District Chairperson LC V also says that they are finding a challenge of isolating the infected animals and end up living them on farms, which fuels the spread of the disease.
Ruth Kashaka, the Kazo Resident District Commissioner, says that they impound many from traders who move them at night and those taking them through porous routes. He, however, says that due to the absence of holding grounds they are sometimes left to go.
She says because of lack of holding grounds they have agreed as a Taskforce that any animal caught loitering or impounded be slaughtered and the meat distributed to schools or institutions
Bernard Asiimwe, a farmer in Kazo town council, says that the absence of a holding ground for impounded animals is causing losses to farmers.