Amuru District Struggles to Contain Black Quarter Disease


In short
They say defiance of residents to bury or burn the carcass of animals killed by the disease is complicating their efforts.

Authorities in Amuru district are struggling to contain the spread of the deadly black quarter disease among animals.

 They say defiance of residents to bury or burn the carcass of animals killed by the disease is complicating their efforts.   

The disease was confirmed among pastoralists in Pacilo, Kal, Pawiro, Abalokodi, Parwaca and Bibia parishes in Attiak Sub County in March this year. More cases were reported in Pailyech parish in neighboring Amuru Sub County claiming hundreds of cows.    

The commissioner for animal husbandry in the Ministry of Agriculture issued a cattle quarantine which also banned the consumption of beef from cows killed by the disease.  

Christine Oyik Abol, the Kal parish councillor says pastoralists have defied the directive, placing more of their animals at risks. She says a kilogram of beef is being sold at 5,000 shillings down from 10,000 before the outbreak of the disease.  

 Amuru district vice chairperson John Bosco Ocan says they have failed to prevent the consumption of the carcasses among communities. He says residents are curing the beef on fire to prevent contracting the livestock disease.    

  Batulumayo Okwonga, the Amuru District Veterinary Officer says although the risks to humans is minimal, consuming beef from animals killed by the disease affects control of the disease as more animals get infected in the process.    

Okwonga says re-infection reduces the efficiency of vaccines being used to control the disease. He says the disease is common at the onset of rainfall seasons due to uncontrolled animal movement.   

Black quarter disease is an acute infectious bacterial disease of cattle and sheep. It manifests with severe inflammation of the muscles, low appetite, high fever and immobility in cattle and kills its victims within few days of infection.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.