Livestock farmers told to keep off disease infested zone

Eastern Province Governor Mufulukye speaks to farmers from Gatsibo, Kayonza and Nyagatare districts. JD Nsabimana.

Local government officials in Eastern Province have warned farmers against seeking for pasture for their animals in Gabiro military training centre, describing the area as an animal disease infested zone.

Gatsibo, Kayonza and Nyagatare districts were hit with an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, which prompted the Government to impose a quarantine on the movement and sale cattle from May 2017 to February 2018.

On Monday, farmers held a meeting with Fred Mufulukye, the Governor of Eastern Province, to discuss the challenges and opportunities of livestock farming in the region.

The governor told farmers to take advantage of the available government programmes to promote farming instead of putting their animals at risk of contracting disease because of uncontrolled movements.

This is not the first time farmers have been ordered to keep their herds off the military land. In the past, military officials complained of trespass on their land, which they said was disrupting their training activities.

According to Rwanda Agricultural Board, Gabiro is still one of the areas that are home to a variety of wild animals, which can spread foot and mouth disease to cattle.

The governor said that: “When cows graze in Gabiro zone they risk contracting foot and mouth disease, which hurts the incomes of farmers”.

He advised farmers to keep animals that fit the capacity of their farms.

Joviah Murerwa, a farmer from Murundi Sector, Kayonza District, said that the farmers knew the people whose animals trespass on the military land.

She suggested that the culprits be punished according to the law.

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