Farms hit by cattle ‘miscarriages’

NGOMA/RWAMAGANA - Livestock farms in several districts of the Eastern Province have been hit by unknown disease that is causing cattle to miscarry. Dr. Jean de Dieu Niyitanga, the head of livestock in Rwamagana District, said most farmers in the Eastern Province have reported high rates of miscarriages on their farms.

NGOMA/RWAMAGANA - Livestock farms in several districts of the Eastern Province have been hit by unknown disease that is causing cattle to miscarry.

Dr. Jean de Dieu Niyitanga, the head of livestock in Rwamagana District, said most farmers in the Eastern Province have reported high rates of miscarriages on their farms.

He reiterated that most rural farmers in the districts are waiting, with bated breath, to know the cause, and ultimate treatment of their animals.

“Bugesera, Rwamagana, Ngoma and Kayonza have registered significant losses. We had suspected brucellosis, but the results so far are proving us wrong,” he said.

Dr. Isidore Gafarasi, the head of Veterinary Services, said that ever since the problem was reported, blood samples have been taken for tests in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Britain to ascertain the cause of the miscarriages.

“We are working around the clock to find out the causes. The first results that came were negative, but we are waiting for the next blood test results from the UK. We shall soon act accordingly,” Gafarasi told The New Times.
Alfred Musoni, a farmer said the problem started after massive vaccination against anthrax a couple of months ago, adding that he believes the vaccine could have triggered the miscarriages.

“Loss of any pregnancy represents a significant loss of (potential) income to a farmer, and appropriate action should therefore be taken to check the problem and establish the cause,” he said.

Livestock farming in the Eastern Province has increased since the introduction of One Cow per Poor Family programme. Some people’s livelihoods depend soley on cattle rearing.

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