ZNFU cautions farmers over spread of FMD

By Staff Reporter

ZAMBIA National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) president Jarvis Zimba has urged farmers to take precautionary measures if they have to combat Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), which has been reported in Monze and Pemba in Southern Province.

Zimba said there could be some farmers who have been negligent in the handling of animals and ignored biosecurity measures when moving animals as stipulated by the Veterinary Department, resulting into the importation of FMD.

“We need not emphasise the risk that these perpetrators are putting our country’s animal population at, and more, the image that this portrays to countries that have been courting Zambia to export animals to, and the losses in monetary terms that come with the FMD”, he lamented.

Zimba said that the Union shall not allow a few selfish and negligent farmers and peddlers of FMD to bring down expensive positive strides farmers have made over the years to improve local breeds and grow their livestock sector.

He has since called on the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock to conduct a thorough forensic investigation into the matter, trace the perpetrators and bring them to book.

“As farmers we all have to be responsible for every action that we take. And as ZNFU, we shall pursue this matter to its conclusion, together with the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and other Government authorities,” Zimba said.

He has however applauded government for moving swiftly to acquire the vaccines, treatment and vaccination of animals in Monze, Pemba and the surrounding areas.

Zimba has also thanked the District Taskforce for the tireless job done over the past two weeks saying the ZNFU would continue to collaborate and work closely with Government to ensure real growth was achieved in agriculture.