Ministry of Agriculture officials have issued a temporary ban on livestock slaughters, insurance of livestock permits and suspended all livestock markets in and around Mthumba dip tank in the Mitole Extension Planning AREA in Chikhwawa district in the Shire Valley Agriculture Development Division.
The measures follows Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in cattle there, which was confirmed on 4th September, 2015.
FMD is a highly contagious viral disease that mostly affects cattle and has very devastating socio-economic consequences if not timely controlled.
A statement signed by Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Erica Maganga says preliminary investigation conducted by Veterinary experts from the Ministry indicates that a total number of 700 cattle are at immediate risk within the affected dip tank.
It says the investigations are however still on going to establish the magnitude of spread and map the extent of the problem.
She says the measures are “in conformity with the Control and Animal Diseases Act and the World Animal Health organization guidelines.”
Maganga says the Ministry is currently “working tirelessly” to contain the disease and will continue updating the general public on the situation from time to time.
“The Ministry is therefore urging the livestock farmers and the general public to cooperate with its officials and the police during the implementation of these measures,” she says.