Blame game as disease claims goats in Eastern Province

Monday September 9 2019

goats

Local officials are urging farmers to report immediately any suspicious signs of the disease. PHOTO | FILE 

LEONCE MUVUNYI
By LEONCE MUVUNYI
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Livestock farmers in Eastern Province have appealed to the government for compensation after they lost their goats to a technical mishap in the process of vaccination.

While the farmers say their goats died after vaccination, local officials insist the goats which died had already contracted the virus.

These counterclaims and appeal for compensation are happening at a time local veterinarians are carrying out vaccinating livestock against Peste des Petitis Ruminants also known as small ruminant pest.

Rwanda Today has learnt that the vaccination sparked fear and panic among livestock farmers who alleged that their herd died after the vaccination exercise.

This is likely to derail the exercise as some farmers are reluctant to have their goats vaccinated.

According to the district officials, over 29,600 goats have been vaccinated across the district and 49 goats among them have showed similar symptoms. Vaccination of the goats began just a few hours after start of the campaign some of the goats died.

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During a recent visit in Kiziguro sector of Gatsibo district, Rwanda Today discovered that more than 10 goats died after vaccination in Akabagendo village of Ndatemwa Cell in Kiziguro sector.

“Four goats have already died and there are other two that are in critical conditions,” Alvera Kamaraba, told Rwanda Today.

According to the farmers, their goats started showing symptoms by losing appetite and having a fever, just after vaccination. Before the vaccination, the farmers claim their stock were healthy.

“After vaccinating them the spot of injection started swelling, they lost appetite and lost strength,” said Domithile Kanyange, a resident of Ndatemwa Cell. The farmers now want the government to compensate them as they blame their losses on the vaccination.

“I used to get everything of the household needs and paying the insurance fees for the goats. We are appealing to the government to compensate to find a source of livelihood,” Mr Kanyange added.

However, local officials dismissed the farmers' claims and maintained that the vaccination was done to control the small ruminant pest.

Local officials are urging farmers to report immediately any suspicious signs of the disease to local authorities.

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