Over 400 000 cattle threatened by disease in Gambia
15 March 2013, 14:27
Banjul - More than 400 000 cattle are at imminent risk of death in the Gambia, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) officials said here on Thursday.
Gambian farmers are faced with the possible outbreak of the Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), FAO said.
The CBPP disease is considered the biggest threat to cattle production in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to veterinary experts.
The disease has already killed over 4 000 cattle in the Gambia since late last year when it was first discovered by the official of FAO and Gambian Agricultural Department.
The FAO Animal Health-Crises Management Centre said the disease has the potential to cause the death of more than 200, 000 cattle in the Gambia. It said the loss is estimated at more than 59 million U.S. dollars.
The FAO in collaboration with the Gambian government has launched a campaign against the disease.
"An emergency assistance project to control the CBPP was officially launched on Feb. 6, 2013, three months after the government declaration of 'National Animal Health Emergency'," FOA Country Representative Babagan Ahmed noted.
The FAO has secured initial funding from the African Development Bank and has initiated the first phase of the vaccination campaign which cover communities of hard hit regions both in Central River and Upper River regions.