Fisheries and Livestock Minister Michael Katambo has indefinitely extended the fishing ban on Mongu-Luapula fishery owing to a cholera outbreak.

Katambo, who is also Masaiti PF member of parliament, told the House in a ministerial statement that the fishing ban had been effected following a declaration of a cholera epidemic in Nchelenge and Chiengi districts by the Ministry of Health.

“As you are aware, my ministry conducts an annual fishing ban. Following the declaration of cholera epidemic, the Mongu-Luapula fishery remains closed. The fishing ban will only be lifted after the cholera outbreak is contained,” Katambo said.

Katambo also revealed that his Ministry had put in place measures to contain the Anthrax disease which was reported in November 2016 in Western Province.

“This disease affected humans as well as cattle. This outbreak was reported in November 2016 and affected five districts of Western province namely Limulunga, Nalolo, Kalabo, Shangombo, and Sioma. The number of cattle that died from Anthrax was 43 while a total of 47 people suffered from the disease out of which two died,” Katambo said.

“Although the last cases of Anthrax disease in livestock were reported in December 2016, human cases continued through the consumption of infected meat.”

He explained that Anthrax was a disease which affected all warm blooded animals; resulting in high mortality.

“The disease is caused by a bacterium called Bacillus Anthracis which can live for extremely a long period of time in the soil. The bacterium was present in the soils of Chiyawa areas of Lusaka province and in most parts of Western, North Western, and Eastern provinces. We recommended farmers to be conducting routine vaccination of cattle in order to contain the bacteria,” said Katambo.

“To this effect, government through the Statutory Instrument number 24 of 2014, the health, control and prevention of animal disease made animal vaccination mandatory. Farmers are expected to annually vaccinate their cattle against anthrax; further government through my ministry has put in place measures such as to vaccinate cattle and a total of 40,190 cattle were vaccinated in the veterinary centers in the respective districts; the restriction in the movement of animals helped to stop the spread of the disease.”