The Zambezi Meat Corporation (Zamco) says the recent outbreak of foot and mouth in the Zambezi region does not have an impact on its operations as the company is still to start its operations.
The meat processing company was in 2016 awarded rights by the government to operate the Katima Mulilo abattoir, which remains closed due to delayed completion of renovations.
“We were very scared when we heard the news that the whole region had a ban. Luckily its only 30 km from the affected area, Sigwe. We have not started operations but currently we are engaging all stakeholders, including the traditional leaders in that area not to allow farmers to leave with their cattle as this can cause the disease to spread,” Zamco’s Robert Mapenzi told the Windhoek Observer.
Quizzed on when the abattoir will open, he said the company was expecting a handover of the facility which has been undergoing rehabilitation at the end of October.
“At the moment the facility is still being rehabilitated by the government and has not been handed to us, but we expect this to happen at the end of October. We are hoping government will fast-track the rehabilitation process of the facility,” Mapenzi.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the disease outbreak has not spread beyond Sigwe village where the disease was detected and confirmed last month.
“So far a total of 3934 out of 4125 cattle have been vaccinated in Sigwe village. Vaccination of cattle within a radius of 30 km pf Sigwe village has also commenced since 26 August and about 40 000 cattle considered to be at risk will be vaccinated,” Acting Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Albertina Shilongo said.