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Free State Agriculture calls for strong action against anthrax outbreak

According to Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture (FSA) has expressed serious concerns about the outbreak of anthrax in Lesotho." This could have catastrophic consequences for the meat industry in the province."
Skitterphoto via Pixabay

"Together with other industry role players, we are demanding strong action and responsibility from the Department of Agriculture and law enforcement to address the imminent crisis with the necessary seriousness," said Wilken.

FSA has over a period of 15 years tried to make the government, in and out of court, aware of the dangers at the Lesotho border. "This has often had no positive outcome and authorities walked away from their responsibilities to protect their citizens in situations such as those that are now emerging."

Wilken believes authorities have repeatedly disregarded orders by the court imposed on them.

SA bans livestock imports from Lesotho

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has banned livestock imports and their products from Lesotho into South Africa, following a report of a susceptible anthrax outbreak.

30 May 2019

Only putting a ban on livestock and wool imports will not address the problem. "Major problems at the border are stock theft and illegal grazing of livestock from Lesotho. This should be jointly addressed by the South African National Defence Force, the South African Police Service and veterinarians under the Department of Agriculture, by putting in place the necessary pounds. Most of the livestock are illegally crossing the border and not by lawful access routes or border posts."

Another concern for FSA is the growing cases of farm attacks by Lesotho citizens on farmers in the Free State, and even so far as the Western Cape. According to Wilken, FSA will as soon as possible take up this issue with the necessary government institutions. "We appeal to our members to provide all relevant information to FSA’s office so that purposeful action can be launched."
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