The government of Botswana announced on Thursday that it has donated a vaccine for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) to neighbouring Zimbabwe in order to assist the country to tackle the current disease outbreak.
In a statement released by the principal public relations officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Boikhutso Rabasha said the donation of over 400, 000 doses is an important measure to avoid a possible risk of reversing the efforts invested in restoring FMD free status in Botswana zones that share a border with Zimbabwe.
Botswana, once an avid exporter of beef to the European Union (EU) faced serious challenges with several outbreaks of FMD over the last couple of years, greatly jeopardizing the growth of the country’s beef sector.
The government invested heavily on prevention measures as well as on research to eliminate the disease and has been FMD free over the past five years. The FMD vaccine donated to Zimbabwe is manufactured by the Botswana Vaccine Institute.
Most of the previous FMD outbreaks in Botswana started in the northern and northwestern regions of the country, where it shares a border with Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe reported their current FMD outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health mid-August.
source : Xinhua