Namibia detects new strain of foot-and-mouth disease


Windhoek-Namibia has detected a new species of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) that has infected thousands of cattle, the Minister of Agriculture said in a statement Thursday.

A viral disease that causes lesions and lameness in cattle, sheep and other hoofed animals but does not affect humans was first detected in May in the Zambezi region adjacent to neighboring Zambia.

However, despite high vaccinations in affected herds, worried officials pointed out that infection rates remained high and decided to investigate further.

In a statement, Minister Karl Schletwayne said, “It is important to emphasize that the new FMD serotype O can cause clinical cases in goats and sheep and can spread the disease to other sensitive animals. That’s it. “

The minister said the new strain was first detected in a country in southern Africa in early August, adding that the investigation revealed that it was brought from Zambia to the country through illegal cross-border movement of livestock.

Schlettwein warned that meat exports from Namibia, which are licensed to export beef to China, the EU, and the United States, could be affected by recent outbreaks.

“It will also have a negative impact on Namibia’s recent trade agreements on meat and meat product exports with countries such as Ghana,” he said.

By Nyasha Nyaungwa