Foot and mouth disease threatens livestock sector -ZNFU

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

@SunZambia

FOOT and mouth disease (FMD) which recently broke out in some parts of Southern Province will ruin positive strides farmers have made over the years to improve local breeds and grow the livestock sector, says Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) president Jervis Zimba.

Mr Zimba said the union had received reports of FMD in Monze, Pemba and surrounding areas with shock.

This, he said, came barely a few weeks after the outbreak of FMD was reported in Chisamba East which was effectively contained.

“As ZNFU, we shall not sit idly by and allow a few selfish and negligent elements and peddlers of FMD to bring down expensive positive strides our farmers have made over the years to improve local breeds and grow our livestock sector,” Mr Zimba said.

In a statement obtained by the Sun, Mr Zimba had since called on the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock to conduct a thorough forensic investigation into the matter and trace the perpetrators.

He explained that perpetrators were tarnishing Zambia’s image to countries that had been courting Zambia to export animals.

“The ZNFU feels there are some elements that have been negligent in the handling of animals and have nonchalantly ignored biosecurity measures when moving animals as stipulated by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock’s Veterinary Department, resulting into the importation of FMD,

“As farmers we all have to be responsible for every action that we take. And as ZNFU, we shall pursue this matter to its conclusion, together with the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and other Government authorities,” Mr Zimba said.

ZNFU, he said, would continue to collaborate and work closely with Government to ensure real growth was achieved in agriculture.

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