MAPUTO– The Mozambican government has approved a budget of 18.5 million meticais (about 308,000 US dollars) for a pilot plan of action to prevent and combat two cattle diseases, bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis.

These are two of the main diseases which affect the health of cattle, and the government considers the current prevalence of the diseases a matter of concern. In 2016, 167 foci with 1,828 cases of bovine tuberculosis were notified in 65 districts, a 26.5 per cent increase fromr 2015.

Out of 3,487 animals tested for brucellosis, 380 were found to be carrying the disease, which is a prevalence of 10.8 per cent.

The spokesperson for the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Ana Comoana gave these figures at a media briefing here Tuesday after the Council’s weekly meeting.

The implementation strategy for the new plan of action, she said, included permanent epidemiological surveillance, compulsory vaccination of cattle, the control of animal movements, increased inspections and post-testing certification.

The government expects that reducing the incidence of these diseases will lead to an increase in the size of the country’s cattle herd, and an increase in the weight of the average carcass from 146 to 160 kilogrammes, improving the profitability of cattle farming, and reducing the risk of the diseases being transmitted to humans.

The project will be implemented in the three southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, and in Sofala, Manica and Zambezia in the centre of the country. Comoana said it would cover a total of 430,572 head of cattle.