No rinder­pest, says Kenyan govern­ment

African Independent - - HEALTH -

THE KENYAN govern­ment has re­futed re­ports of an out­break of rinder­pest in the coun­try, as well as the threat of it spread­ing from neigh­bour­ing Tan­za­nia.

Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Live­stock and Fish­eries Willy Bett said Kenya had a sur­veil­lance pro­gramme that en­sured there was no re-emer­gence of the dis­ease in the coun­try.

“This sur­veil­lance pro­gramme also en­sures other im­por­tant trans-bound­ary an­i­mal dis­eases are con­trolled to safe­guard our live­stock herds and trade,” Bett said in Nairobi.

Lo­cal me­dia had re­ported there was the threat of an out­break of rinder­pest in Kenya. The re­ports said the dis­ease had al­ready killed thou­sands of live­stock in neigh­bour­ing Tan­za­nia, with the govern­ment on high alert over a pos­si­ble oc­cur­rence in Kenya.

How­ever, Bett said rinder­pest, a dev­as­tat­ing con­ta­gious an­i­mal dis­ease also known as cat­tle plague, which af­fects cloven hoofed an­i­mals, mainly cat­tle and buf­faloes, had been erad­i­cated the world over in 2011.

Kenya had erad­i­cated the dis­ease in 2009 and a cer­tifi­cate to that ef­fect had been is­sued by the World Or­ga­ni­za­tion for An­i­mal Health.

Bett said an out­break of an­thrax in wild an­i­mals in Tan­za­nia had sparked the rinder­pest ru­mours.

“We have of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion from the vet­eri­nary au­thor­i­ties in Tan­za­nia that the out­break was in­deed an­thrax and not rinder­pest,” Bett said.

Rinder­pest is one of the dead­li­est live­stock dis­eases, ca­pa­ble of killing 90 per­cent of an­i­mals in an area in just 10 to 15 days.

The dis­ease’s symp­toms in­clude fever, mouth le­sions, dis­charge from the nose and eyes, di­ar­rhoea and de­hy­dra­tion. The UN Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­gan­i­sa­tion has de­clared the world free from rinder­pest but it is still found in iso­lated cases in Africa. – Xinhua

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