Rampant loss of livestock in the country is due to the failure by veterinary officials to sensitize farmers on proper drug use against ticks, President Museveni has said.
The other causes, he said, are lack of zoning regions for easy management, farmers’ laziness, violation of livestock rights and government laxity over control of drug distribution channels.
The President was speaking Monday at the launch of a new drug (Vectoclor Acaricide) against ticks in Kiruhura District.
The Acaricide, administered by spraying, has a combination of three drugs and is manufactured in Brazil.
The demonstration was conducted at Kiruhuura district headquarters by a technical team from the Ministry of Agriculture led by the Commissioner in Charge of Animal Diseases Control, Dr. Agnes Rose Ademun.
The launch, noted the President, was the start of a massive national campaign to eradicate ticks in the country.
“Ticks did not come yesterday. In Western Uganda’s cattle corridor, the nomadic way of life was caused by the presence of ticks and worms, which hindered animals to multiple at a reasonable rate since 1958,” said the President.
“By the time of independence, Uganda had seven million head of cattle. But because of political turbulence, the number reduced to three million by 1986,” he added.
“However, since then, the number of cattle has increased to 14 million because of the prevailing peace.”
But President Museveni faulted the veterinary section of the ministry which has not guided farmers properly yet they have the knowledge, equipment and capacity to educate the people.
Mr Museveni said even if there is a plague, animals do not die in big numbers after they have been vaccinated.
“I am convinced that this new drug is going to be effective. If it succeeds, it will be openly and officially legalized for public use,” he added.
The President therefore urged mobilisers to create awareness of the new drug through the use of the mass media.
The President pledged six water tank trucks to cattle keepers in Kiruhura District in an effort to tackle the challenge of water scarcity especially during drought.
Mr. Museveni also reminded the people about wetlands protection, adding that it is indiscipline “by not preserving water sources like lakes, rivers and swamps.”
He stressed that local government officials in the country should take charge of sensitizing the communities about environmental protection.
Commissioner Ademun said following the launch of the acaricide, the technical team from the ministry will conduct a cleansing exercise on selected cattle farms to evaluate the performance of the drug in eradicating resistant ticks.
She added that the ministry will also gazette two zones, one in the North of the River Nile and another South of the Nile to be able to manage the control of ticks.