By Kule Ronald
An outbreak of a peculiar disease that is resistant to pesticides has ravaged goat keepers in Kasese district and killed hundreds of livestock.
An estimate of at least 600 goats have succumbed to the strange viral disease which has a French name called Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus (PPR) in the most severely affected sub counties of Bwera, Nyakatonzi, Katwe-Kabatoro, Muhokya, Rukoki, Kitswamba and Kasese municipality.
According to locals, once a goat is affected by this strange disease, the end result is death because no medicine has been identified as of now to cure the strange deadly disease.
Dr. Godfrey Kalule the Kasese district veterinary officer confirmed to our reporter that the outbreak is real in almost all the sub counties in Kasese district.
“We are having an outbreak of a peculiar disease in goats it found its way in Uganda through kiruhura district before entering Kasese district in December last year”, Dr. Kalule said.
Kalule believes that the deadly disease was brought in Kasese by livestock traders who trade in goats from Kiruhura district and sell them in mpondwe-lhubiriha and other Kasese markets.
“Our people being ignorant of the strange disease in goats, they could buy the goats for rearing from various markets in Kasese little knowing that they were incubating the disease to their other animals and since then the disease has scattered all over the district”, Dr. Kalule added.
The veterinary doctor says the very unfortunate thing about the PPR disease is that it has no cure once it attacks the goat adding that the end result becomes death.
“We have been forced to carryout immediate vaccination of all goats that haven’t been affected by this strange and yet deadly disease across the district to prevent our livestock farmers from losing their goats”, Dr. Kalule further explained.
Signs and symptoms
According to Dr. Kalule a goat which has been affected by Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus develops running nose, excessive tears from the eyes, diarrhea, loss of appetite, loss of weight and nasal discharge followed by heavy and labored breathing and end up collapsing.
Swizin Bukenya the Nyakatonzi sub county local council three chairperson who is also a livestock dealer in Kasese explained to our reporter how the new strange disease is almost eating away their entire livestock.
Bukenya reported that their effort to treat the disease with local herbs has not worked on the affected animals, revealing that since its spread about two hundred goats have died in Nyakatonzi Sub County alone.
“This strange disease has affected us so much because livestock farming is a major economic activity in Nyakatonzi whereby most of the goat keepers generate money for their children’s fees and economic survival”.
According to veterinarians, Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a viral disease of sheep and goats caused by peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA virus of the genus Morbillivirus.
Because of its economic effects and ability to spread rapidly, PPR was included among reportable diseases by the World Organization for Animal Health.END