Ethnoveterinary methods of managing foot and mouth disease lesions in cattle in Alero Sub County Nwoya District
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Poor animal health is a major problem limiting livestock productivity in sub-Saharan Africa including Uganda. Decline in funding veterinary services, animal health and cost of veterinary medicines and services have pushed poor, rural farmers to search for alternative medicine. Ethnoveterinary medical practices play important roles in animal healthcare system in Uganda. This study aimed at establishing the ethnoveterinary methods of managing foot and mouth disease in cattle herd in Alero sub county Nwoya district and it was guided by two other specific objectives that included to document the knowledge and ethnoveterinary practices used for treatment of foot and mouth disease in cattle herd and to document the challenges that make the local people unable to use ethnoveterinary remedies in cattle herds in Alero Sub County, Nwoya district. Information about medicinal plants and traditional healing practices was gathered using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews which resulted into relevant information on the medicinal plants used to treat FMD lesions by small holder cattle farmers in Alero sub county Nwoya district. The study found that majority of the participants (61.9%) experienced foot and mouth disease in their farms. The study also found that most of these respondents who were using ethnoveterinary remedies (20.6%) acquired the knowledge from elders. Most respondents (31.6%) used Butyrospermum paradoxum, 15.8% used Bidens pilosa, 10.5% used Vernonia amygdalina while few (5.3%) used Piliostigma thonningii, Grewia mollis, Sporobolus compositus, Euphorbia heteropylla, Ficus subandina and Euphordia tirucelli. Traditional practices were also used, 50% used cow dung and 25% used elephant dung and ash. The study also revealed that 7.2% of the 8.2% of the participants that were using ethnoveterinary plants and preserving acknowledged that they faced some challenges during preservation. Therefore, the following recommendations were made in line with the study findings, and they include massive cultivation, conservation, and preservation of these ethnoveterinary medicinal plants. Conservation of medicinal plants and preservation of ethnoveterinary biodiversity of Uganda. Finally, further research work is recommended to be done to determine ethnoveterinary remedies used in treatment of various animal diseases in the entire northern region.