• The outbreaks have been blamed on pastoralism of cows from the neighboring counties.
•Farmers have been urged to vaccinate their livestock for vaccinationas the diseases cannot be treated.
Murang’a county has started mass vaccination to prevent the spread of viral diseases amongst both livestock and dogs.
William Mwangi, county director of veterinary services, has said an outbreak of foot and mouth, anthrax and back quarter diseases has been reported in Ithanga subcounty.
The diseases are suspected to be spread by unvaccinated cows being grazed by pastoralists from other counties.
Mwangi said the county is working with security officers to ensure the movement of animals is controlled to contain the diseases.
In Gitugi subcounty, farmers have reported an outbreak of lumpy skin disease characterized by formation of nodules on the skin.
He said as the diseases are viral, the only thing farmers can do is vaccinate their animals as they cannot be fully treated.
He urged farmers to avail their animals for vaccination to prevent the diseases.
He asked farmers to avail their animals for the vaccination that will be carried out at their homes.
“The county government is doing its part and farmers should now do theirs. We will do it home to home so the only thing farmers need to do is allow us to do our work,” he said.
The exercise is being undertaken in collaboration with private veterinary officers and farmers will be required to pay a subsidised charge of Sh200 per cow.
“We’re also working with village elders and local community health workers so we can reach as many farmers as possible,” he added.
For dogs, Mwangi said the county has been experiencing a challenge since the government banned baiting stray dogs with poisoned bait.
The ban, he noted, made it difficult to control outbreaks of rabies as the only other means is mass vaccination of dogs.
Mwangi appealed to farmers to ensure they report to their local veterinary offices once they encounter livestock diseases so that the vaccination can be escalated and intervention measures put in place.
(Edite b. V. Graham)