Botswana: Minister Molao Spells Out Livestock Protocols

Gaborone — Non-susceptible Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) species originating from Botswana such as donkeys and horses that cross into Zimbabwe may be returned subject to import conditions prescribed by the director of Veterinary Services as informed by the prevailing disease situation in Zimbabwe, says Minister of Agriculture, Mr Fidelis Molao.

Answering a parliamentary question this week, Mr Molao said the current protocol for livestock that crossed into Zimbabwe from Botswana and vice-versa was that FMD susceptible species from Botswana such as cattle, sheep, and goats that crossed into Zimbabwe could not be brought back.

Further, he said FMD susceptible animals that crossed into countries that were not free from the disease were considered high risk for transmission of the disease.

He also said returning animals that had been to such countries would be in contravention of the World Organisation for Animal Health standard on FMD, and consequently jeopardise the official free status of the country.

He said there were also risks of introduction of new strains of viruses that would bring complexities and extra costs to control the disease.

He said the ministry preferred to return livestock that strayed into Botswana from Zimbabwe as killing such animals would not be in the interest of the country’s current disease control strategy.

He noted that the current strategy placed emphasis on fostering alliances and cooperation with neighbouring countries, Zimbabwe included.