Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is the most economically important livestock disease worldwide. It is endemic in Uganda and most other African countries because of multiple risk factors including high livestock density, animal movements, proximity to wild animals, cross-border transactions, wind, water, animal products, utensils and livestock-human contacts. Like other developing countries, animal production and marketing are heavily constrained by limited access to lucrative international markets because of failure to meet the required standards by the World Trade Organization. One of the major strategies to promote disease control and livestock trade in endemic countries was to introduce the concept of disease-free zones within which specific sanitary and market standards have to be met. In Africa, it is only Namibia, Botswana and South Africa that have ever had FMD free OIE-declared zones. In pursuit of possibilities of beef export to EU and other markets within Africa by the year 2020, Uganda delineated two disease control zones (DCZs) in areas with large livestock populations and as a consequence high risk for FMD, thus requiring high capital investment. This paper highlights the multiple risk factors for spread of FMD and the feasibility of creating effective DCZs in pursuit of the international markets. The overall payback and the constraints of setting up such initiatives are discussed, including necessary parallel interventions way beyond setting up the prescribed areas.
Cab Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources, 2013, Vol 8, Issue 004, p. 1-9
Disease control zones; Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD); Outbreaks; Uganda