The government has put in place measures to deal with the outbreak of a lethal livestock disease that has ravaged the Eastern Province.
Recently, the province was hit by Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP), locally known as Ruhaha. The disease is said to be spreading fast as a result of the movement of cattle from Gabiro Military barracks, a ”disease hotspot” to other areas in the province.
“We have decided to vaccinate all cows and we are also calling upon people to report all cases of cows infected,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata.
She also urged residents of the Eastern province not to move their cows to different areas to avoid the spread of the disease.
CBPP is an infectious cattle disease caused by the bacteria known as Mycoplasma mycoides.
The disease, causes inflammation and enlargement of the lungs. This inflammation can lead to fluid accumulation in the chest cavity and destruction of lung tissue.
Damaged areas of lung often harden and adhere to the chest wall, which interferes with effective breathing and causes cattle to die from lack of oxygen.
According to Kalibata, there is no specific treatment for CBPP. Any cow proved to be infected is slaughtered.
“This is why we are calling on people to be conscious about this infection, because we don’t want to see their cows being slaughtered,” she said.
CBPP is spread through the inhalation of airborne droplets from coughing/sneezing animals. Direct cow-to-cow contact also increases the spread of the bacteria.
The bacterial was recently confirmed by the Rwanda Animal Resources and Development Authority (RARDA).
This is not the first time the Eastern province is hit by a deadly cows disease, some time back, the area experienced Foot and Mouth Disease, Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) and Tick Borne Disease (TBD).