Livestock auction stopped as Foot and Mouth strikes


Vaccination is ongoing in Trans-Nzoia against Foot and Mouth. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Trans-Nzoia County has stopped livestock auctions following an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) that has hit most parts of the North Rift.

County executive for agriculture Mary Nzomo says they have also issued quarantine to prevent further spread of the disease.

Other counties in the North Rift, including Uasin Gishu, have also suffered from the outbreak of the deadly disease.

“We have stopped animal auctions as we seek to stop further spread of the disease,” said Dr Nzomo.

She said they are currently getting the vaccine from the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (Kevevapi) for treatment of the livestock.

Dr Nzomo, however, has taken issue with the efficacy of the vaccines.

“We have issues with the vaccines that we are getting in terms of efficacy but I don’t want to comment on that because it is a national issue that can only be addressed by the principal secretary,” she said.

There have been numerous cases of the FMD epidemic since last year with veterinary practitioners saying the government should roll out new type of oil-based vaccine that is considered to be effective and cheaper.

New Foot and Mouth oil-based vaccine that was manufactured by veterinary agency in 2017 expired, following a tug of war between senior government officials in the Ministry of Agriculture and the agency.

Veterinarians have argued that the delay in releasing this new type of vaccine has subjected farmers to high costs in protecting their animals from the disease.

“Ordinarily, the oil-based vaccine, unlike the water-based, enables vaccination of animals only once a year as opposed to the conventional one that requires the livestock to be vaccinated twice a year, making it an expensive affair to the farmer,” a vet told the Business Daily.

It costs a farmer Sh200 to treat their animals if the exercise is being conducted by the government while private vets charge Sh500 for the same.