There has been a new outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Nyagatare District in the Eastern Province, the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed yesterday.
The disease has spread from the corridor that stretches along Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Kayonza and Kirehe districts that neighbour Tanzania, to neighbouring farms, according to vets.
Symptoms of the disease were found in at least 100 cows in Karangazi Sector farms, but it was not yet clear how many animals could be affected.
The vets, who said the disease could have originated from Tanzania, were still investigating another possible outbreak in other farms of the district.
Doctor Justin Zimurinda, representative of Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (Rada) in Nyagatare District, said a quarantine has been put in place around the affected areas.
“The affected farms have been under quarantine since symptoms were reported. We are undertaking various precautions and we are urging people to be more cautious particularly with cattle movements,” he said.
“There was another outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Karanganzi Sector. We have, however, managed to contain it, ” he added.
Fred Sabiti Atuhe, the Mayor of Nyagatare said over 100 cases have so far been reported.
“We are working closely with vets to control the deadly disease. It spreads quickly and farmers’ ignorance may exacerbate the spread. We warn farmers against violating the cattle movement ban in affected places,” he said.
Meanwhile, fear of disease spread has limited livestock movement which has cut off farmers from accessing markets.
“We are in serious financial crisis as we can hardly sell our cows. There are no buyers even when you decide to sell at a giveaway price,” said Joseph Mirindi, a farmer.