Lyantonde town residents’ yearning for meat was fixed just in time for Easter celebrations by the district authorities who relaxed the Foot-and-Mouth-Disease on the weekend.
Meat consumers, farmers, butchers, and restaurant owners have been complaining since February 2021 when the quarantine was enforced and meat businesses suspended.
But now according to Dr. Ronald Bameka, the District Veterinary Officer (DVO), they relaxed the quarantine in the town council which has no FMD case.
He adds that Kyemamba, Mpumudde and Kashagama sub-counties will remain quarantined as they continue assessing the FMD situation.
Bameka explains that they made a special arrangement to get the animals including cows, goats and sheep from Lwengo district which is not under quarantine so that people can get meat on Easter and Easter Monday. He adds that they collaborated with the livestock dealers and district authorities in Lwengo to ensure they get healthy animals.
In addition, the local farmers have been allowed to sell their animals after thorough inspection by the veterinary doctors so as to generate income.
The DVO further explains that livestock dealers, farmers, and residents in other sub-counties are still complaining and incurring losses since they are stuck with their animals and milk.
Lyantonde is among the districts that were quarantined following the FMD outbreak. Others include Ssembabule, Kalungu, Rakai, Kampala, Gomba, Wakiso, Kiboga, Kiruhura, and Kiryandongo.
The others under quarantine are Kyankwanzi, Kyotera, Koboko, Bukedea, Mbarara, Masindi, Mukono,Nakaseke, Nakasongolo, Rubirizi, Ibanda, and Serere.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries further banned the movement of animals in these districts as well as their products such as meat, milk, hides and skin among others.
The cattle markets of Kyemamba, Kyenshama, Kitindo and Kashagama, the loading sites in every parish, abattoirs and butcheries were also closed.
Rose Nakaggwa, who operates a small restaurant at Lyantonde market, said she welcomed the move because meat has been on high demand. She explained that the Christians have fasted for 40 days and prohibiting meat on Easter interferes with their Easter celebrations.
Nakaggwa further urged the government to lift the quarantine countrywide for at least two days, Easter and Easter Monday.
Mohammed Kaggwa, a butcher in Lyantonde town council, explained that relaxing the quarantine will allow them to make some money since Easter is one of the days when the meat is on high demand, adding that they have increased the price of meat from Ugshs 10,000 to Ugshs 12,000 due to the scarcity of animals and increasing demand for meat.
Bameka explains that the arrangement to get animals from Lwengo will cautiously continue until when the ministry of health guides on what to do in other FMD-affected sub-counties. URN