October 15, 2003



Outbreak of Cattle-Lung Disease in Caprivi, South Africa


Last week in South Africa, the Department of Veterinary Services has confirmed an outbreak of cattle-lung sickness in the Linyanti area of the Caprivi Region.


The deadly disease, which was detected towards the end of August, has already killed 24 head of cattle at Maunga village. The region's 150 000 cattle are also said to be at great risk.


The outbreak is viewed in veterinary circles as a serious setback for Namibia as the Linyanti area is said to have been free from cattle-lung disease since 1938.


Acting Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Archie Norval, told The Namibian that the disease is suspected to have entered Namibia via animals smuggled in from neighbouring countries.


In the mid-1990s, cattle-lung sickness led to over 300 000 cattle in Botswana's northwestern areas being slaughtered as they were believed to contain the disease.


Dr Norval said his Department has ordered the vaccine and a treatment campaign against lung sickness would start soon.


He said efforts to isolate all animals in the affected areas are ruined by some farmers' refusal for cooperation.
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