Counties

Foot-and-mouth disease hits milk output in Narok

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Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya said the cases, which was first discovered in February, have been reported in areas neighbouring the Transmara sub-county.
  • He said the disease has had severe effects on dairy cattle with high mortalities also seen in calves, pointing out that the vaccines had been dispatched to combat the menace.
  • Mr Munya said there had been a challenge with indigenous breeds such as Zebus and Sahiwal that have been asymptomatic as they aided in transmission of the disease to the susceptible improved herds.

A recurrent case of the deadly foot-and-mouth disease that has been reported in Narok County is posing a serious challenge to farmers in the region who now face reduced milk production and animal deaths.

Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya said the cases, which was first discovered in February, have been reported in areas neighbouring the Transmara sub-county.

He said the disease has had severe effects on dairy cattle with high mortalities also seen in calves, pointing out that the vaccines had been dispatched to combat the menace.

Mr Munya said there had been a challenge with indigenous breeds such as Zebus and Sahiwal that have been asymptomatic as they aided in transmission of the disease to the susceptible improved herds.

“Some livestock breeding farms in Transmara have been severely affected by the outbreak. An example is the Keyian farm where the outbreak was reported in February. The farm keeps both dairy and beef cows and also works as a breeding farm for pedigree Sahiwals for Kalro,” he said.

Mr Munya said vaccination is currently ongoing and the ministry and the Narok County government had procured 110,000 doses of foot-and-mouth vaccines.

He said the vaccines would help livestock farmers, especially those dealing with improved dairy herds, combat deaths.

The Cabinet secretary said biosafety measures had also been put in place in the affected region, including imposing a quarantine on Keyian farm to minimise the spread of the disease in the neighbourhood.

Narok and the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute signed an agreement in which the institute is to supply assorted vaccines worth Sh8 million to the county in the 2020/21 financial year.

The vaccines include 250,000 doses for the blue tongue diseases, 100,000 doses of CBPP, 100,000 doses for lumpy skin disease, 20,000 doses for foot-and-mouth disease, 80,000 doses for sheep and goat fox disease.

Different parts of Kenya have been reporting the outbreak of the deadly disease since 2020 when the Directorate of Veterinary Services raised concern over a sharp increase in cases.

The foot-and-mouth disease attacks cloven-hoofed animals like cattle, pigs, sheep and many wildlife species.