Sierra Leonean authorities have implemented a ban on the movement of cattle from Liberia and the importation of meat from the neighboring country. This decision comes in response to the unexplained death of 36 cows in a border area. The cows died in early July in a field near the Sierra Leone border, prompting an investigation into the cause of their deaths.
Liberian authorities have not provided a timeline for when the investigation results will be released. In the meantime, Sierra Leone has taken several precautionary measures to prevent the potential spread of any disease. These measures include banning the movement of cattle, goats, and sheep along the border, temporarily closing livestock markets in the border area, and increasing surveillance in slaughterhouses. Sierra Leone has previously experienced an anthrax epidemic in May 2022, resulting in the death of over 200 animals. Anthrax is a disease that can be transmitted to humans and has potentially fatal forms. The country is keen to prevent any further outbreaks or diseases from entering its livestock population.
Liberia’s Ministry of Agriculture has stated that no other cases of dead cattle have been found in other parts of Lofa County or other counties. However, Sierra Leone remains cautious and is taking proactive steps to protect its livestock industry. The ban on the movement of cattle and importation of meat may disrupt trade between the two countries temporarily. However, Sierra Leone’s main priority is to prevent any potential devastating impact on its livestock sector. By implementing these measures, Sierra Leone hopes to effectively control the spread of any diseases and safeguard its livestock industry from significant economic losses.