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Yes, lumpy skin disease threat to beef farming in Botswana

“Lumpy skin disease outbreak threatens beef industry – Botswana,” reads the headline of a 20 January 2020 article on the South African website Political Analysis.

The article was shared on Facebook – and flagged as possibly false by the social network’s fact-checking system, prompting Africa Check to investigate.

Lumpy skin disease is caused by a virus that infects livestock such as cattle. It results in lesions in the body, can reduce cows’ milk production and in some cases can kill the animal.  

The spread of the disease can be slowed with vaccination, controlling other animals that carry the virus, and restricting the movement of livestock.

‘Cases of lumpy skin disease in parts of country’

On 14 January 2020, Botswana’s Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security issued a press release on a lumpy skin disease outbreak.

“The farming community and the general public are informed of occurrence of cases of Lumpy Skin Disease in some parts of the country,” the statement reads. It’s signed by Dr Letlhogile Modisa, director of veterinary services.

Modisa advised farmers to “vaccinate their cattle against LSD to minimise stock losses”.

“Farmers are urged to report all sick animals to the nearest Department of Veterinary Services office. Note that failure to report sick animals is an offense according to the Diseases of Animal Act,” he said. – Butchie Seroto


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