A new Survey has found that most farmers use local brew busaa to treat Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) among animals.
The highly communicable viral disease attack hooved animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs as well wild animals such as buffaloes.
The survey was conducted by the Nakuru Regional Veterinary Investigation Laboratory (RVIL) in collaboration with the county veterinary staff.
According to the survey, a majority of the farmers whose animals were affected by the disease drenched them with local brew (busaa) as the treatment of choice.
Busaa is about 4 per cent alcohol, a concentration which is very mild as compared to surgical spirit, which is 70 per cent alcohol, so its medical value in killing the FMD virus is questionable.
The brew normally makes the animal drunk, thus reducing the pain in the foot and mouth wounds. The animal is therefore able to feed, thus boosting its immunity and recovery, but farmers should seek proper treatment.
A word of caution, however, is that the brew is stable for one to two days after production. Thereafter, acidification and denaturing take place, making the substance toxic.
Some farmers buy busaa that lasts for over five days, which implies that they could be poisoning the animals unintentionally and this explains the deaths that were occurring in adults, a rare condition as FMD is known to kill mostly young animals.