Extension officers vaccinate cows against foot and mouth disease in Rongai, Nakuru County. [File, Standard]

A resurgence of foot and mouth disease in Nandi County has alarmed livestock farmers and forced the closure of livestock markets in the county.

A spot check conducted by The Standard, various areas, including Chesumei, Mosop and lower Emgwen regions have been affected, and the locals have run short of the immunization drugs to administer to their animals.

Some locals have been forced to use traditional brews commonly known as busaa, which is believed to be the remedy as they wait for the mass immunization exercise by the county government.

Gilbert Manyim, one of the dairy farmers at Kapkangani village, said that six of his dairy animals have been infected by the disease, which has cut down milk production.

"I have been forced to quarantine some cows to control the disease from spreading in the farm after finding that some animals have died in the neighbourhood. Animals move freely in the area, and it might be the cause of the infections," he stated.

According to the county department of livestock in Nandi, the spread of the disease can be attributed to the lucrative animals business during the festive season in December. The local traders massively transported the cows from the neighbouring counties including Kakamega, Vihiga and Uasin Gishu.

The farmers are calling on the county government to issue a quarantine directive as an emergency move to curb the disease from spreading, which has already killed about 10 animals.

"It's a major challenge affecting the livestock industry and appropriate action must be taken. We want the relevant authorities to ensure there are sufficient immunization drugs in the market," said Josephat Keny, a farmer who lost two cows in Mosop.

Agriculture and Livestock Executive Kiplimo Lagat confirmed the cases and said the county government is assessing the foot and mouth prevalence.

"We will soon roll out an immunisation programme and if the disease persists we might be forced to quarantine the animals to check the spread," said Dr Lagat.