Agriculture and animal resource minister, Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana, has declared the Eastern Province free of foot and mouth disease and removed the quarantine on animal movements for the first time since May 2017.
The quarantine affected animal movements in Gatsibo, Kayonza and Nyagatare districts, but according to MINAGRI, there had been no new cases of foot and mouth disease in the province for the last one month.
“Since December 21, 2017 the ministry and other concerned parties haven’t noticed any case of foot and mouth disease which proves the area has now recovered from the disease” said Mukeshimana Monday while addressing dairy farmers in Gatsibo District.
The minister, however, warned farmers to be vigilant of the epidemic and follow the advice of animal resource officers in their areas to avoid another occurrence of the diseases which caused heavy losses to the farmers.
“The ministry spent more than Rwf7 billion in medicine in combating the disease and that does not even take into account the money the country lost from the products you were supplying,” she said.
Farmers like Emmanuel Munyaburanga, from Rwimbogo in Gastsibo District, confirmed that they had suffered many losses in the last one year but added they had learned a lesson.
“There’s no doubt that the root cause of foot and mouth disease in our area was unrestricted cattle movement. We had cattle moving freely which we’re going to avoid in the future” said Munyaburanga.
The provincial Governor, Fred Mufulukye, called on dairy farmers to observe to the measures that were put in place”