Foot and Mouth Disease confirmed in Molemole

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

A herd of cattle on a farm in the Molemole district of Limpopo has tested positive for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

The farm is located in the previous FMD-free zone of South Africa, said the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Wednesday.

“On 1 November 2019, veterinary services were alerted to clinical signs in a herd of cattle on a farm in the Molemole district …  Samples were collected and FMD was confirmed on 1 November 2019 by the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Transboundary Animal Disease Programme,” said the department.

The affected farm has been placed under quarantine and the animals are under clinical exam to determine the prevalence of the disease. Measures have also been implemented to prevent direct or indirect contact between the different groups of animals on the farm.

The department is in the process of identifying the strain to determine the likely origin of the virus.

“Backward and forward tracing is in the process to determine the possible origin of the virus, as well as locations to which the disease might have spread.”

Foot and Mouth Disease is a highly contagious viral disease which affects cattle, pigs (domestic and wild), sheep, goats, and other cloven hoofed animals.

Signs of the disease in animals may include depressed animals, sores in the mouth of animals causing reluctance to eat, and lameness.

The disease does not affect human beings and it is safe to consume products of cloven hoofed animals, such as meat and milk.

“Farmers in the whole country are cautioned to observe bio-security measures – not to allow any new animals into their herds, and to minimise the movement of their own herds to other farms. 

“Any suspected case of the disease in animals must be reported to the local State Veterinarian immediately,” said the department. –