Nelly Bassily | March 28, 2011
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) does not affect humans. It is an animal health problem. FMD is a highly contagious viral disease, and affects animals with cloven (divided) hooves, such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer. Our story highlights what farmers are doing to prevent the disease’s spread.
South Africa has temporarily given up its status as a foot-and-mouth disease-free country. Livestock in KwaZulu-Natal province have tested positive. Neighbouring provinces, such as Gauteng, are so far unaffected. There have also been reports of a outbreak in northern Uganda: http://allafrica.com/stories/201103210758.html
For technical information on foot-and-mouth disease, visit these links:
Here are some further news stories about the outbreak in South Africa:
For Farm Radio International’s “Guide to some important livestock diseases,” go to: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/63-1script_en.asp.
Access to veterinary services is a problem for many farmers. Whether high costs or access to equipment and medications are the barrier, veterinary support is a critical need for anyone trying to make a living from livestock.
You could consider producing a show on how farmers deal with animal disease. Are trainings available? Are there NGOs working in the area on animal health? How effective are government extension services on animal health? Are traditional treatments common? What sort of services do farmers need to keep their animals healthy and develop their small-scale livestock enterprises?