VACCINATION DRIVE

Anxiety over livestock disease in Nakuru

Foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease repored in several areas. Dogs, cats to be vaccinated against rabies

In Summary

• Free vaccination will take two months, covering livestock for lumpy skin disease and foot-and-mouth disease. Rabies jabs for cats and dogs.

• The outbreak has hurt milk production.

Nakuru dairy cows.
VACCINATIONS: Nakuru dairy cows.
Image: COURTESY:

Anxiety has gripped livestock farmers in Nakuru after an outbreak of lumpy skin and foot-and-mouth diseases in parts of the county.

The county on Wednesday announced a major vaccination drive to contain the diseases. More than 100,000 livestock are targeted the two-month drive.

Livestock and Agriculture chief officer Enos Amuyunzu said several herds had been infected by both diseases, though no deaths had been reported so far.

“We have embarked on a free mass vaccination in the whole county lasting two months," he said. 

Dr Amuyunzu said vaccinations have started in Mai Mahiu Naivasha and will be rolled out to other subcounties.

“The county has set aside funds for this exercise as part of our plans to increase livestock production," the Livestock officer said.

He said 10,000 cats and dogs are also targeted for free rabies vaccinations. "We are calling on owners of animals to cooperate,"Amuyunza said.

He emphasised that no rabies cases had been reported.

“We are not taking any chances and are targeting dogs and cats," he said.

A report 'All Eyes on Dogs' by World Animal Protection said rabies could be wiped out in 10 years if all stakeholders worked together.

 

It called for mass vaccinations of dogs and said at least 160 people are reported to die of the disease every day.

Dogs are a major rabies carrier, WAP's Dr Emily Mudoga said.

"Each year, rabies causes 59,000 deaths and 3.7 million disabilities. Fifty per cent are children and all this can be prevented if we collaboratively take action," she said.

(Edited by V. Graham)