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14

2022

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09

Foot and Mouth Disease: Ban on Movement of Cattle in SA lifted

Source:

IOL; OIG+X

South Africa's Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza announced on Thursday that the ban on cattle movement in South Africa has been lifted in most parts of the country.

 

South Africa's Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza announced on Thursday that the ban on cattle movement in South Africa has been lifted in most parts of the country.

 

The ban was imposed to help curb the spread of Foot and Mouth (FMD) in the country. The minister said in a statement that cattle are now allowed to be moved, in all but three areas, in certain provinces in the country.

 

KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Free State remain selectively restricted for now.

 

The areas in these provinces are limited to:

 

Marquad, Viljoenskroon and Harrismith in the Free State;

Nongoma, Ulundi, Hlabisa, Hluhluwe and Mtubatuba in KZN.

 

“We will continue with surveillance and vaccination in these areas that still have active infections. We call upon farmers and communities to observe the health protocols that have been put in place and refrain from illegal movement of cattle/animals,”the minister said.

 

Strict protocals, however, will still have to be adhered to where the movement of cattle is allowed. The cattle that are being moved, must be accompanied by owner declarations and recipients undertaking to isolate the animals for at least 28 days before introducing them to the main herd.

 

Meanwhile, earlier this week, KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) chief executive Sandy la Marque said members were extremely concerned about the significant economic and social impact of the ban on the movement of cattle in the province.

 

She said this following Didiza’s announcement last week that the ban would remain in place due to the FMD outbreak. La Marque said since May 2021, livestock owners in the KZN foot-and-mouth disaster management area had seen their business effectively halted.

 

“With the national lockdown (ban on movement), this now includes all cattle owners. While it is critical to take effective steps to stop this disease, it is essential that all relevant authorities are fully committed to playing their roles, for example: clamping down on any illegal movement of cattle, holding effective roadblocks, ensuring that animal health and associated livestock practices are upheld to the highest standards.

 

“Simultaneously, livestock owners must ensure that biosecurity is of a high standard and contribute to the economy through quality production that can be traced to the source.”

 

OIG+X Analysis:

By late August, 127 cases of the disease had been recorded in six of the country's nine provinces.

 

South Africa was banned from exporting beef products shipping since April 2022 to China due to FMD. In the first five months of this year, mainland China imported a total of 2,740 tons of beef from South Africa, which was almost halved compared with the same period last year, a drop of 44%.