Stanley Awalime, GNA
Dedenu (VR), Jan. 10, GNA - Dr. Jehadi Osei-Bonsu, South Tongu District Veterinary Officer said a calf has been confirmed dead and 200 cattle affected by a suspected outbreak of "mouth and foot" disease at Dedenu in the District.
He said hundreds of cattle were undergoing treatment and observation following the outbreak and called for cooperation of all stakeholders to contain the situation.
“I was in the various farms yesterday and per my records, only one calf has been recorded dead after contracting the suspected foot and mouth disease," Dr. Osei-Bonsu said.
In an interview with Ghana News Agency, the District Veterinary Doctor said the foot and mouth disease hardly killed, saying, “when cattle are infected, their mouths and foots develop bruises, which prevents them from eating and walking and when forced to walk long distances, they die out of hunger and the pains on the foot not from the disease,” debunking rumours that about 30 cattle were killed by the disease.
Dr. Osei-Bonsu said though he was yet to get the results from the laboratory to confirm the disease, signs and symptoms showed that it was “foot and mouth disease” which normally break out in the dry season.
Mr Godwin Gbolonyo, Animal Production Officer for the South Tongu District, said foot and mouth disease mostly occurred during the dry season due to scarcity of water for cattle, with infected ones spreading the disease.
He said the ailment was suspected to be foot and mouth disease and that reports that the disease was unknown was inaccurate.
“I was on the field yesterday and have sent a colleague to the affected communities this morning again, but the number of cattle reported dead are less than 30 and the report that the disease is unknown is not true since we have confirmed signs of foot and mouth disease as we wait for the laboratory results,” he said.
Mr. Gbolonyo said the dead calf was buried and those affected isolated with farmers being educated on how to handle and treat the animals to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.
He said they always asked farmers to get their cattle vaccinated against the disease ahead of the dry season yet they always failed.
Pastor Sampson Klome, a cattle owner in Yorkutikpo, in the District, said a large number of his cattle were affected by the suspected foot and mouth disease yet none of them was dead and that veterinary officers were around to educate them on how to handle the situation.