Foot And Mouth Outbreak Hits South Africa

South Africa has identified 22 Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) positive locations that have been placed under quarantine.

These locations are in KwaZulu-Natal and they comprise two clusters of dip tanks in communal grazing land as well as two commercial feedlots.

Provision has been made to allow the early slaughter of animals from the affected feedlots.

So far, there are requests for permission to slaughter 11 000 pigs, 3 500 cattle, and 30 sheep.

At the end of June, Thoko Didiza, minister of agriculture, land reform, and rural development reform, declared a KwaZulu-Natal Disease Management Area (DMA).

The KwaZulu-Natal DMA includes district municipalities of King Cetshwayo, Umkhanyakude, and Zululand.

A movement protocol and permit system for cloven-hoofed animals was put in place in the DMA to contain the disease and prevent further spread.

The movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their products into, out of, through, or within the DMA is only allowed on the authority of a permit issued by the veterinary services.

Didiza said: “I wish to thank all affected animal owners and stakeholders for their cooperation and support in controlling the outbreak and preventing the spread of the disease to other parts of the country.”

Visible veterinary patrols and roadblocks are in place in the DMA to control the movement of livestock and to monitor adherence to the movement protocol.

Fines will be issued for consignments found without the necessary permission, warns the department.

Recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, with associated blockage of roads and redirection of security resources to communities, had caused some delays in the disease investigation processes in the province.