South Africa: Minister Thoko Didiza announces the decision to suspend all movement of cattle in the country due to Foot-And-Mouth disease outbreak
Minister Didiza announces the decision to suspend all movement of cattle in the country due Foot-And-Mouth disease outbreak
Cattle that are already at shows, auctions and enroute into the republic will be given 48 hours to be permitted to move to final destination after being sold
The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms. Thoko Didiza, MP has taken the decision to suspend all movement of cattle in the whole country. The Ministers decision is aimed at halting the continued spread of Foot and Mouth Disease in the country. It also means that cattle may not be moved from one property to another for any reason for a period of 21 days reviewable weekly.
The country is currently experiencing 116 outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), involving farms, feedlots and communal areas in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Free State Provinces.
The Minister acknowledges the efforts made by farmers, communities and industries to curb illegal movements of animals from known positive areas, and to improve biosecurity on animal holdings. However, the disease continues to spread, with 15 new properties and two new provinces affected in the last two weeks alone
The ban will be declared in Government Gazette. Any disregard for the movement ban is a criminal offense.
The exception will only be upon veterinary permit for:
(i) Cattle for direct slaughter at registered abattoirs
(ii) Slaughter for ritual purposes
“Cattle that are already at shows, auctions and enroute into the republic will be given 48 hours to be permitted to move to final destination after being sold, the local state veterinary office should be contacted for these permits” said Minister Didiza
Minister Didiza warns perpetrators that are illegally moving cattle that they will be prosecuted for contravention of the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act no 35 of 1984).
The Minister recognizes the major disruption that the movement ban will cause in the normal business of many sectors. For this reason, the ban is only applicable to cattle, as the movement of cattle was identified as the main cause of the continued spread of the outbreaks. However, the public is reminded that all cloven hoofed animals can spread Foot and Mouth Disease Virus, and the movement of sheep, goats, pigs and cloven hoofed game animals should also be handled with the necessary caution.
Animals showing suspicious clinical symptoms (salivation, blisters in the mouth, limping or hoof lesions) must not be moved under any circumstances. Members of the public must contact their District State Veterinary Services or their private veterinarians immediately.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development: Republic of South Africa.