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Cattle movement ban ending soon

03 Apr 2023

The Ministry of Agriculture will in a space of a week make an announcement concerning the movement and sale of cattle south of Zone 6b.

In response to a question posed by Councillor Gaseitsiwe Mabutho of Boikhutso ward during a Francistown City Council virtual meeting Friday, Minister Fidelis Molao said his ministry was in the process of lifting a restriction on the movement and sale of cattle in the south of Zone 6b.

“We will have made an announcement to that effect in a week,” he said as he also appraised councillors on the depopulation exercise that started on February, to purge Zone 6b of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) which broke out in the North East last year.

Councillor Mabutho had wanted to know if movement protocols for animals in the south of Zone 6b would be lifted, particularly since surveillance had shown that the area was clear of the disease.

Zone 6b consists of such villages as Butale, Senyawe, Ramokgwebana, Mowana, Siviya, Jackalas 1 and 2, Matopi, Matshelagabedi, Matsiloje, Tsamaya, and Mabudzane.

However, it has been found that cattle in the south of Zone 6B villages of Matshelagabedi, Matsiloje and Matopi were not affected by the disease.

Meanwhile, Mr Molao relayed that about 4 184 cattle had been taken to Maun abattoir for slaughter since the beginning of the depopulation exercise and that the facility had a slaughter capacity of 120 animals per day.

“An arrangement has been made with the slaughter facility management to ensure that farmers in the Ngamiland are not hamstrung by the exercise and an arrangement has been made that they also continue to use the facility.

Furthermore, the councillors learnt that besides the P3 000 per animal compensation by the Ministry of Agriculture, Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) abattoir would also give farmers proceeds from the sales of their animals after slaughter.

To date, the Ministry of Agriculture has disbursed about P1 374 000 as payment for over 1 567 cattle belonging to 168 farmers from Zone 6b.

Only animals free from the disease are transported for slaughter at Maun abattoir and diseased cattle are destroyed, Mr Molao told councillors.

“We expect to depopulate about 10 000 cattle and at the end carry out a thorough surveillance, an exercise we will conduct before restocking begins in full throttle,” he said.

Also, Minister Molao told the councillors that a similar strategy that was used to contain FMD spread and stock theft in the Bobirwa area would be employed in the North East and the rest of the country.

Councillors were happy with the minister’s update and pledged their support to make sure that the war against FMD was won. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Mooketsi Mojalemotho

Location : Francistown

Event : Council meeting

Date : 03 Apr 2023