The government has lifted a five-month-long ban on the sale and movement of cloven-footed animals such as cattle, goats and pigs in 28 districts in eastern and northern Uganda.
The quarantine was instituted in June this year, following the outbreak and fast spread of the food-and-mouth disease across at least 30 districts.
In a statement announcing the lifting of the ban, the director of Animal Resources in the ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Dr Nicholas Kauta, said the decision was made in response to successful efforts to combat the viral disease.
“Due to the remarkable improvements in the Foot and Mouth Disease situation in the country, quarantine restrictions that were imposed on the following districts are lifted with immediate effect,” wrote Dr Kauta in a December 3, 2014 statement in which he names 28 districts.
The ministry’s decision to end the ban is a welcome relief to locals in the hitherto affected districts as the festive season approaches and ends months of anxiety and uncertainty over when the disease could come under control.
Over the last five months, the government ordered district authorities to arrest anyone found selling meat or transporting animals.
Many locals complained that the ban had infringed on their source of livelihood. Locals also accused the to arrest authorities of failing to implement the quarantine, since many locals continued to sell their animals illegally.
In addition, some of the affected farmers accused the government of failing to provide the required vaccines to enable districts authorities to treat the animals and stem the spread of the disease.
Districts where the quarantine has been lifted:
Source : The Observer