The ministry of agriculture has lifted a partial quarantine that had been instituted both in Buwenge town council and Buwenge sub-county in Jinja district.
This followed an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the two areas which led to a quarantine that almost lasted close to two months since the beginning of November.
According to Dr Anna Rose Ademun, the commissioner in charge of animal health at the agriculture ministry, the disease was cited both in cattle and goats.
The ministry together with the Jinja district veterinary department embarked on a free vaccination exercise which had seen a reduction in the disease hence the lifting which was announced by Dr. Florence Nahamya at Buwenge sub-county headquarters on Thursday.
Nahamya, the Jinja district principal veterinary officer who represented Ademun, thanked farmers for being compliant with the quarantine guidelines which among others restricted the selling and consumption of milk and meat, movement of animals and slaughtering them.
Whereas butcher stalls and the abattoirs remained closed in both entities, a source who declined anonymity revealed that some butchers stealthily slaughtered goats undercover.
The source added that locals kept calling some butchers and placed orders which compelled them to slaughter goats and distributed the meat stealthily.
“There are some greedy residents who can’t stay without eating meat, they kept pestering butchers to devise means of getting them the meat,” he said.
Another source feared that the lifting of the quarantine might have resulted from pressure mounted by politicians ahead of the festive season.
Alamanzani Oludu, a local journalist and resident of Buwenge town council said he was still hesitant of eating meat thinking that government might have rushed to lift the ban.
“I have already convinced my family to accept and we feast on fish for our safety,” he said.
However, the Jinja district LC5 chairperson, Moses Batwala, asked animal traders to ensure that they get their movement permits to avoid slaughtering sick animals.
“This disease can be passed on to people once they feast on meat from sick animals and since we have been told that there is a reduction of the disease let us avoid slaughtering such animals,” he urged.
Batwala also asked veterinary officers to embark on registering all butchers right from parish levels and assist them in formulating guidelines that govern them.
He said this will help in curbing the rampant theft of animals within their respective communities.
“The animals which are stolen from our communities end up in butchers, this is how we shall manage to trace their origins once we get any report of their disappearance,” he said.