Agriculture

Lumpy Skin Disease Hits Mbarara, Kiruhura

Leaders and Farmers in Mbarara and Kiruhura are on tension following the outbreak of the lumpy skin disease in the districts.

The disease was reported   in Mbarara first by Juliet Atuhaire, representative for Kamukuzi division during a district council meeting at the Kamukuzi district hall.

Lumpy-skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle typically characterized by nodules or lumps on the skin.

The disease is characterized by fever, enlarged superficial lymph nodes and multiple nodules (measuring 2-5 cm in diameter) on the skin and mucous membranes (including those of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts).

Infected cattle also may develop edematous swelling in their limbs and exhibit lameness.

The virus tends to have permanent damage to their skin, lowering the commercial value of their hide.

Its mortality rate may reach 10% of the herd within a single week.

Mrs Atuhaire told the council that the disease had so far killed three cows on one of her farms in Kiruhura.

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She noted with concern that while the district is aware of the outbreak, nothing has been done to control the spread especially ahead of the festive season that will involve slaughtering of animals and use of animal products.

She noted that the disease was most likely to destabilize farmers’ efforts in the western region to commercialize.

Speaking on the same matter, Kakoba division councilor Julius Byekwaso revealed that the district doesn’t possess the vaccine for the disease and that it is currently being handled by private vets.

Byekwaso said that the delay of release of local funds to the veterinary laboratory at the district has led to the failure of collection of vaccines on time from Entebbe to enforce the vaccination exercise to some of the emergency diseases in the area.

The council passed a resolution demanding the district to process requisitions for operational funds for the veterinary laboratory as a matter of emergency.

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