FMD Results in Livestock Ban in Etosha

The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the northern communal areas has prompted the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to aise commercial and communal farmers surrounding the Etosha National Park not to allow their livestock to graze in the park.

“This control measure is also important for wildlife management, tourism and general conservation and development of the flagship Etosha National Park,” cautioned the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta.

A total clampdown on the movement of animals and animal products from the northern communal areas (NCAs) has been ordered as a result of FMD outbreaks in the Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions.

The movement of animals from south of the veterinary cordon fence to the NCAs has also been suspended as well as movement of animals across the NamibianAngolan border.

The Etosha fence is an extremely long boundary of 842 kilometres bordering the Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati and Kunene regions.

The boundary, Shifeta said, consists of various types of fences, the predominant being a 1.2m high livestock-proof fence.

Shifeta further warned communities and farmers – both commercial and communal – therefore not to intentionally damage the park’s fence so that their livestock can graze freely.

The ministry earlier noted that the some parts of the fence are in a dire state – a situation that has largely created loopholes for rhino poachers.

Shifeta said that in terms of the Nature Conservation Ordinance, 1975 (No. 4 of 1975), Section 21 on killing of animals trespassing in game parks or nature reserves, a nature conservator may at any time, with the consent of the minister, kill any livestock or domestic animal found in a game park or a nature reserve. However, Shifeta said it is not the ministry’s wish to kill livestock in that manner and therefore urged all farmers and communities to ensure that no livestock grazes in the park.

He further aised traditional and community leaders to ensure their subjects adhere to the directive.

Source : New Era