MOA Warns Against Eating “Sick Animals”

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The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has warned the public against eating sick animals, particularly livestock, which include sheep and goats if found dead within their communities or residence.
Agriculture Deputy Minister, Seklau Wiles gave the advice recently at the Ministry of Information regular press conference in Monrovia.
Madam Wiles disclosed that the disease was recognized in Liberia and the MOA has been addressing the disease since 2011 through vaccination exercises.
Madam Wiles appealed to residents in rural areas to desist from eating dead animals and report any case to MOA and Ministry of Health.
Madam Wiles explained that, “This disease is highly infections and contagious among susceptible animals (goats and sheep) but humans are not at risk. This disease has high economic importance to livestock farmers.”
She noted that the disease is not among cattle but only livestock that comprises of sheep and goats and said the ministry has tools to begin vaccination campaigns in August in areas which have not yet been exposed.
She further explained that awareness about the disease in the various communities through radio announcements, including local dialects have commenced and will ensure that all measures are put in place to prevent the spread of the disease.
“Based on the results of the various tests, the MOA designed a short term emergency plan to contain and control the disease. All livestock officers and quarantine inspectors from the 15 counties were brought to Monrovia for two days refresher training on PPR disease,” Madam Wiles explained.
She said following an emergency report on suspected outbreak on goats and sheep, a team was dispatched to Nimba and Lofa counties to provide clarity on what was the actual cause of the outbreak.
She said site assessment within the various communities where over 2000 goats and sheep died revealed that illegal movement between Guinea and Liberia border of Kinnor in Nimba County was the source of the outbreak.
She said MOA requested assistance and technical support from African Union Inter-African Bureau of Animal Laboratory Resources (AU-IBALR), and a team of veterinarians and laboratory technicians was dispatched to Liberia.
“From July 6-10, the team undertook epidemiological investigations and collected new samples for confirmatory test,” she added.

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