Cabinet issues warning on Foot and Mouth Disease

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Cabinet has called on all affected communities in Limpopo, to adhere to the safety protocols, as a measure to curb the spread of Foot and Mouth disease, in some parts of the country.  

 Cabinet was briefed at its regular meeting on Wednesday on the recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in some parts of the country.

 “Whilst the disease does not pose danger to human health, it is highly contagious amongst the cloven-hoofed animals,” said Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, addressing the media on Thursday.

Farmers are requested to avoid gathering livestock together for auctions, shows or other activities. They are also urged to be on the lookout for clinical signs of the disease and contact a veterinarian or animal health professionals, if necessary.

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has advised farmers and livestock owners this week that all parties transacting with cloven-hoofed animals should observe the utmost caution.

“All gatherings of animals from more than one source (incl. auctions, livestock shows, and speculative transactions) are discouraged until the exact situation is known,” said a joint media statement by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and the National Animal Health Forum on Foot and Mouth Disease.

On 1 November 2019, veterinary services were alerted to clinical signs suspicious for Foot-and- Mouth disease (FMD) in a herd of cattle on a farm in the Molemole local municipality of the Capricorn district, Limpopo.

“Trace back and trace forward thus far linked infected animals to an auction facility in Limpopo Province and it has been confirmed that at least five commercial facilities have been affected as a result,” the statement said.

More properties that purchased animals at the same auction could be affected.

All known infected properties have been placed under quarantine, suspect properties under precautionary quarantine; and plans to resolve the situation are being implemented.

Farmers and livestock owners have been urged to not remove live cloven hooved animals until the current situation has been stabilised.

“Only transport animals that are healthy and destined for immediate slaughter. All buyers of animals should ensure that the animals purchased are free of disease, especially free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD),” the statement said.  -