FARMERS VOW TO STRIKE OVER QUARANTINE

Police officers man the Kabingo-Bukanga road block used to monitor illegal livestock movement in Isingiro District. PHOTO BY ALFRED TUMUSHABE 

By ALFRED TUMUSHABE
Isingiro- The Isingiro District chairperson, Mr Jeremiah Kamurali Birungi, has said leaders and farmers will stage a demonstration on September 9 to compel ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to lift the quarantine on livestock in the district.
Mr Kamurali told Daily Monitor that they took the decision after the state minister for Animal Husbandry, Ms Joy Kabatsi, failed to turn up for the meeting that was scheduled on Tuesday to discuss the matter of ‘unnecessary quarantine’.

The quarantine was imposed in 2005 following the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease in the area.
Mr Kamurali said the foot and mouth disease is no more and therefore, maintaining the quarantine and keeping the livestock markets closed is affecting the residents economically.
Mr Kamurali said the minister sent communication that she would meet them at the district but changed her mind on the d-day.
“ If the minister does not come to open the markets, the whole district will be on fire. I will lead the riot ,” Mr Kamurali said.
He added: “Livestock markets in Mbarara, Rakai and Kiruhura districts are open but in Isingiro, farmers are at the mercy of a few traders.”
Mr Kamurali said the 10-year quarantine has impoverished many farmers in the district reason he tabled the matter before the President.
The district veterinary officer, Dr Bruhan Kasozi, said there has been intermittent outbreaks in the district and keeping livestock markets closed was the best option.

SOURCE: MONITOR