Control strategies for foot and mouth disease with particular reference to Nigeria
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a very contagious disease of mammals with a great potential for causing severe economic losses in susceptible cloven-hoofed animals. It is a trans-boundary animal disease, with seven serotypes and all the serotypes produce a disease that is clinically indistinguishable but immunologically distinct and there is no cross-immunity among serotypes. As FMD serotypes O, A and SAT 2 are circulating in Nigeria, the control strategies for this disease in various countries are discussed in this paper and recommendations are made for the Nigerian situation. These recommendations include: vaccination of all susceptible animals using killed trivalent vaccines, enhanced disease surveillance programmes, establishment of effective control posts in all routes of animal entry into the country, regional cooperation on animal diseases amongst the African countries; government investment in a number of diagnostic equipment at zonal levels for transboundary animal diseases to enhance prompt confirmation of suspected diseases; establishment of local cattle multiplication centres in various states of the country to discourage regular importation and movements. Finally, improved animal management practices should be practised in consideration for biosecurity while the trans-humance nomadism and other extensive system of animal management practices should be discouraged.
Keywords: Foot and Mouth Disease, Cattle, Control, Nigeria