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Foot-and-mouth disease: Mobilization continues in Morocco

The operation of vaccination of cattle continues throughout the Kingdom to cover the entire national cattle herd, said Friday, the National Food Safety Authority (ONSSA).

The national vaccination campaign to recall cattle against foot-and-mouth disease, launched as planned in January 2019, has helped vaccinate more than 500,000 head of cattle, a coverage rate of 17%, ONSSA noted in a statement, stating that in some provinces where some cases of foot-and-mouth disease have been recorded, vaccination coverage rates have reached 45%, 43% and 30% respectively in Khouribga, Fquih Ben Salah and Sidi Bennour.

The veterinary services under the authority of the Office, in coordination with the local authorities, intervene immediately after the detection of each household, stresses the ONSSA, adding that so far the various outbreaks detected in the provinces of Fquih Ben Saleh, Khouribga , Sidi Bennour, Tangier and Kalaat Sraghna have been eliminated.

Among the measures taken to control and eliminate these outbreaks and to prevent the spread of the disease, ONSSA is engaged in the cleaning and disinfection of farms, compliance with biosecurity measures for people entering and leaving, and slaughter and the destruction of infected cattle and other susceptible animals in the farm concerned.

In this sense, ONSSA will compensate farmers in February, in accordance with regulations in force, the statement said, noting that the amounts of compensation vary depending on the type, age and the breed of the animal and while taking into account market prices.

In addition, analyzes carried out at the level of national analysis laboratories and supported by international laboratories have confirmed that the strain of foot-and-mouth disease virus affecting cattle is a new strain that has never existed in Morocco until 2019, says the same source, adding that it is also a strain of virus present in other African countries.

In addition, analyzes of suspected FMD cases in 10 outbreaks have reversed the presence of the disease, ONSSA reported.

Foot-and-mouth disease is a viral animal disease that is not transmissible to humans and is contagious to animals, particularly cattle, the statement said, noting that the consumption of meat and dairy products poses no danger to the consumer.

Since 2014, and in order to protect the national herd, ONSSA regularly carries out annual cattle vaccination campaigns against Foot-and-Mouth Disease, which gives the national cattle herd a satisfactory immune mattress. In addition, and thanks to the control strategy adopted, our country has an official control program for FMD approved by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

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