The task of the vaccinators in the first cycle of vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease carried out by the Colombian Federation of Cattlemen (Fedegán) through the National Livestock Fund (FNG) has not been easy, as these brave warriors have encountered various limitations in their task of carrying out the vaccination.
Municipalities of Arauca do not allow vaccinators to enter
The regional coordinator of Fedegán in Arauca and Casanare, Villamil Torres, has reported on blockades that have prevented vaccinators from carrying out their work, especially in Arauquita, where there are a dozen farmers who could suffer the consequences of not receiving the foot-and-mouth disease vaccine. It has been speculated that groups such as the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) could be behind these damages to public order.
Fedegán-FNG, as an entity championed by the cause of eradicating foot-and-mouth disease, coordinates vaccination and faces considerable challenges to carry out its work. Although Villamil Torres has indicated that they have not currently experienced direct impacts on public order, the blockades that prevent vaccinators from accessing certain areas hinder their ability to carry out vaccination effectively. Specifically, in the municipality of Arauquita, in the department of Arauca, they have been identified as critical points where these limitations have arisen.
The commitment of vaccinators
In addition to the risks inherent in the task of vaccinators, who expose themselves to dangerous conditions to reach the most remote properties, the interruption of vaccination puts the health of the cattle at risk and directly affects farmers in the region.
It is important to highlight the commitment and courage of the Fedegán-FNG vaccinators, who carry out essential work in the protection of the Colombian livestock industry. Despite the challenges and limitations, these workers they risk their lives to fulfill their responsibility and bring the foot-and-mouth disease vaccine to every corner of the country. Their work contributes to maintaining animal health, guaranteeing the quality of meat products and ensuring the sustainability of livestock in Colombia.
Villamil Torres, Fedegán’s regional coordinator in Arauca and Casanare, has called on the armed groups involved in the blockades, requesting that they respect the immunization activity and keep Fedegán-FNG out of their conflict. Torres emphasizes that vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease is a commitment of the country and of the farmers, and its interruption can have negative consequences both for the economy and for animal health.
The goal of Fedegán-FNG is to vaccinate 1,261,091 animals in Arauca, covering more than 11,800 farms throughout the region. This task represents a considerable logistical challenge, especially considering the obstacles that have arisen due to the blockades. However, Fedegán-FNG is committed to meeting its objective and guaranteeing that vaccination is carried out in an effective and timely manner.