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Nov 22, 2022

Black Leg Disease Detected at Farm in Orange Walk

Every year, cattle and other farm animals face a number of potentially deadly diseases that can spread easily to other farms and cause significant losses to farmers. Last week, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministries of Agriculture and Health and Wellness reminded livestock producers to vaccinate their animals against Blackleg Disease if they have not been vaccinated in the last six months. It is not contagious, but it was detected in one animal at a farm in Orange Walk last week. It can also infect animals, particularly young cattle and sheep and is caused by bacteria in the soil after heavy rains. It is picked up even quicker by animals with open wounds. Today, BAHA’s Plant and Animal Health Technical Director, Delilah Cabb-Ayala shared with News Five that BAHA conducts ante and post mortem inspection of animals to ensure that sick animals do not enter the food chain. She said advised farmers to use only approved vaccines because other types may not yield the proper dosage and they could end up losing their entire herd. The disease works through the animal very quickly and within two days, they die.


Delilah Cabb-Ayala

Delilah Cabb-Ayala, Technical Director, Plant and Animal Health, BAHA

“Maybe they are using expired vaccines or maybe they are using material from partly used containers, or maybe the vaccines have not been kept in accordance with the cold storage that the manufacturer has prescribed. Maybe the farmer is saying I don’t have enough money, I have so many animals, I’m trying to cut costs, so I will ensure I vaccinate all but they only get one vaccine. The animal will still not be fully protected. The calf should receive two doses of Black Leg (vaccines), so you apply the two vaccines one month apart. We also encourage that once the two vaccines have been issued, that the animal gets a booster twelve months later. Once it comes into the system, you will start observing swelling, lameness, loss of appetite, rapid breathing, depression, high fever, and then that carcass will become very bloated.”

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