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Namibia launches emergency vaccination against foot and mouth disease

Christian Fernsby |
Namibia is carrying out an emergency vaccination in the country's northern region after a buffalo strayed into the foot and mouth disease (FMD) protection Zone, official said Thursday.

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According to Agriculture Ministry animal health technician who is leading vaccination campaign Job Mvula, although the buffalo tested negative for FMD after tests, the campaign had to go ahead to make sure cattle are not in any danger of and to avoid panic among farmers.

"When a buffalo is spotted in an area we have to organise emergency vaccination so that we vaccinate the cattle population in the surrounding area," said Mvula.

Mvula said they had to make a decision to put down the buffalo when it was located.

"African buffalos are well known carriers of the FMD virus therefore the presence of a buffalo in livestock areas poses a high risk of transmitting FMD virus to livestock through close contact or contaminated grazing and water by the buffalos excretions," he said.

Namibia has since lifted the ban of all cattle auctions and traditional animal shows in certain constituencies after tests done on the buffalo showed negative results for FMD.

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