The movement of animals from Amuru District has been halted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries-MAAIF has halted the following an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
The information was revealed by the Minister of State for Northern Uganda, Grace Freedom Kwiyocwiny, just one week before the start of the first phase of the forceful eviction of migrant cattle keepers, commonly known as the balalo from northern Uganda.
On November 3, President Yoweri Museveni gave the migrant cattle keepers who are occupying government land as well as private land without having installed fences, or having water sources for their animals three weeks to leave northern Uganda.
However, Kwiyocwiny, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries had advised that the animals in Amuru District should not be moved because of the presence of FMD in the district. The deadline for the ultimatum ends on November 24.
Kwiyocwiny said with the presence of the animal infection in Amuru, the eviction exercise will be guided accordingly so that animals are not moved anyhow. Stephen Odong Latek, the RDC Amuru District, revealed that the areas affected by the FMD are Pogo and Lakang sub-counties.
Without stating when the disease broke out, Latek said tests are being done to ascertain whether the disease is still present, adding that eviction will be done as soon as the Ministry of Agriculture issues an express guideline on how to implement the exercise amid the FMD.
Attempts to get a comment from Dr Anna Rose Ademun, the Commissioner for Animal Health at the Ministry of Agriculture failed as her calls went unanswered. Amuru district is said to have 15.5 percent migrant cattle keepers, the highest number compared to other districts according to a report by the implementation committee of Executive Order Number 3.
In January 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries halted the eviction of pastoralists occupying government land from Nwoya District over an outbreak of FMD. Foot and Mouth Disease is an infectious viral disease that affects animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.