– 22 September 2016:
The European Union (EU) has donated 300 000 vaccines to the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security to help Mauritius in the vaccination campaign against Food and Mouth Disease (FMD).
The handing over ceremony was held this morning in Port Louis in the presence of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Vishnu Gondeea, and the EU Ambassador to Mauritius, Mrs Marjaana Sall.
In his address, Mr Gondeea said that as at yesterday, some 21 000 pigs and 11 883 animals including cattle, goats and sheep have been vaccinated with the support of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) who has brought in ten Malagasy veterinarians to help with the vaccination campaign. Moreover, the Veterinary Epidemiologist of the IOC proceeded to Rodrigues along with senior officials of the Ministry to take stock of the situation when FMD was detected there.
Some 30 000 animals have already received the second dose of the vaccine, Mr Gondeea said. Recalling that FMD is a highly contagious animal disease that has large socio-economic impacts, he stated that Government has agreed to provide a total of Rs 35 million to compensate farmers for their slaughtered animals. Thus, breeders will get Rs 35 000 for each slaughtered ox/cow, Rs 6 000 for each goat or sheep, and Rs 5 000 for each pig.
For her part, Mrs Sall acknowledged the good work of the Ministry which quickly dispatched samples abroad to be analysed. These 300 000 vaccines will help control the spread of the disease, she said.
It is important to make sure that FMD does not extend further, she stated, adding that the EU is ready to bring its expertise and help Mauritius fight the disease.
It is recalled that when FMD was first detected in Mauritius in early August, a Crisis Committee was set up for a better monitoring of the situation. The Committee comprises representatives of the Ministry, Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute, the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, the Ministry of Local Government, the Police Department as well as the Chamber of Agriculture and the Mauritius Meat Producers Association.
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