Cape Town – South African Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development (DALLRD) Thoko Didiza has reportedly banned all cattle movement throughout the country for 21 days in order to combat the spread of Foot and mouth disease.
The decision was announced on Tuesday, according to reports.
“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,” IOL quoted the department’s spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo as saying.
The ban will be published in the Government Gazette, and any violation of it will result in prosecution.
There will be exceptions, such as if there is a veterinary permit for direct slaughter at registered abattoirs and for ritual slaughter, the report said.
The minister acknowledged the disruption that the movement ban would cause in many sectors’ normal operations, and she also acknowledged the efforts made by farmers, communities, and industries to reduce illegal animal movements from known positive areas and to improve biosecurity on animal holdings, The Citizen reported.
“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,” the report quoted Didiza as saying.
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo