Government has said that it is set to expand the immunisation programme of foot and mouth disease that has so far been reported in 47 districts, especially those that lie in the cattle corridor.
The vaccination is aimed at eliminating the disease that has caused economic losses to the country.
Bright Rwamirama, the minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries told the media in Kampala that the livestock population for which disease management must be undertaken is estimated at 14.8 million heads of cattle, 16 million goats, 5.4 million sheep, 5 million pigs and over 60 million poultry.
According to the officials, livestock contributes 5 % to the GDP of Uganda through sales of livestock, livestock products (meat, milk, ghee, eggs, horns, hooves, hides and skins).
He said these markets however require high quality and safe animal products adding that for Uganda to continue enjoying accessibility to regional and international markets for animals and animal products, there is a need to meet the prescribed sanitary measures and one of them is the freedom from diseases.
He said the frequent occurrence of diseases such as foot and mouth disease, brucellosis, anthrax, rift valley fever among others down plays the contribution of the livestock sub sector to the national GDP.
As part of the global effort, Rwamirama said that government also put in place deliberate programmes for control and eradication of the most important trade sensitive diseases with special focus on foot and mouth disease.
“Foot and mouth disease prevention is by repeated vaccinations of herds before the outbreak to create the desired immunity to prevent future outbreaks. The ministry procured 2.3 million vaccine doses for foot and mouth disease “he noted.
He said that the supply and delivery of this vaccine consignment was phased and so far 900,000 doses have been delivered and the remaining 1.411 million doses will be delivered in June 2021.
Rwamirama said that his ministry established an Agriculture Police Unit to support its enforcement and regulatory activities including animal movement control activities.