January 25, 2016
Namibia is now free of foot and mouth disease (FMD).
In a statement, Agriculture Minister John Mutorwa said, "All indications are that the outbreak of foot and mouth in the previously infected areas has been successfully contained, hence the decision to lift the restrictions in the regions that were affected with immediate effect".
Outbreaks of FMD were reported on May 11 last year in the Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions, and at Etayi village on July 22.
The Namibian government immediately restricted animal movements restrictions, declared a state of emergency and allocated 180 million Namibian dollars (US$11 million) on vaccinations to fight the disease, which can affect cattle and swine.
Namibia is also building an FMD vaccine plant, which Mutorwa has described as one of his ministry's important projects.
In declaring Namibia FMD-free, Mutorwa maintained that there was still a need for the country to be vigilant against any future outbreaks.
"The war against the eventual eradication of trans-boundary animal diseases including FMD from any part of Namibia's NCAs (northern communal areas, where the outbreaks occurred) continues until our final victory", he said.
Namibia has some 2 million cattle, which are reportedly prone to FMD.