RWAMAGANA — Veterinary officers in Rwamagana District yesterday began a cattle vaccination exercise against lumpy skin disease (LSD).
LSD is an infectious, eruptive, and occasionally fatal disease characterised by nodules on the skin and other parts of the body.
Dr. Jean de Dieu Niyitanga, the district veterinary officer, explained that the disease causes severe and permanent damage to hides.
He noted that the vaccination was important in averting serious economic losses that may arise after outbreaks of the high morbidity disease.
“We have mobilised farmers to make sure all cows are vaccinated...it is a routine seasonal vaccination to check the disease. We expect to vaccinate over 45,000 cows in the district,” he said.
Francois Kanyandekwe, 65, a seasoned dairy farmer, said the vaccine was essential in protecting the animals.
He told The New Times that his experience showed that there was no treatment for lumpy skin disease, except vaccination.
“Young animals are often more severely affected. Milk yield is decreased, pregnant cows may produce prematurely and bulls may become sterile. The disease is devastating...the vaccination is thus timely,” he said.
The Mayor of Rwamagana, Nehemie Uwimana, said all farmers were well sensitised in having their cows vaccinated, warning that those who defy the decree may be penalised.
“Farmers only pay Rwf 200 per cow, and for those who will not honour the timetable, they risk paying Rwf 2,000 per cow in future for the same vaccination. The aim is to encourage them to bring all cows for vaccination,” he noted.