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Strange disease kills goats in Hoima

Livestock farmers in Tonya parish, Buseruka sub-county, Hoima district are counting losses following an outbreak of a strange plague that is killing goats.

The infected goats are developing diarrhoea before they become weak and die. Sam Isingoma, an area resident, said he has lost over 90 goats to the strange disease. He says he has lost sh13.5m from 90 goats in case each goat is sold at sh150,000.

He suspects that the goats could be dyeing for eating fall armyworms in pasture. Hoima is among the districts that have been hit by the fall army war.

The affected areas are Tonya A and B, Kijangi, Kaiso and Kaiso, among others. “The government should intervene and save us from losing our livestock,” Isingoma appeals.

Vincent Barongo, the agricultural officer in charge of Buseruka sub-county, confirms the deaths of goats in the area, noting that they visited the affected areas and established they (goats) were not killed by the fall army worm as it is being claimed by the farmers.

He suspects that the goats are being killed by a plague which killed close to 700 goats in May last year in the same area along the shores of Lake Albert.

Barongo said on Wednesday farmers whose goats were vaccinated have no issues and those dying might have missed to bring their goats for vaccination.

The plague, before the intervention of the district veterinary department, presented, then, with sudden onset of depression, fever, diarrhoea and discharge from eyes, nose, sores in the mouth, breathing difficulties and cough.

Goat plague which is scientifically termed as petits ruminant is a viral disease related to rinder pest in sheep and goats.

John Wamara, a resident of Tonya village, who has since last week lost five goats, says they are left with no option but to bury the carcasses.

He says this has affected them economically since many of them rely on goat rearing as a main source of income following dwindling stocks in the lake due to overfishing.

Ali Tinkamanyire, the sub-county chairperson says the area needs attention to establish the actual cause since this is not the first time the same is happening to the area farmers.

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