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SA lifts ban on movement of cattle

South Africa has lifted its nationwide ban on the movement of cattle imposed for 21 days in a bid to limit the spread of foot and mouth disease (FMD).
Source: 123RF

The announcement was made in the government gazette 11486 dated 8 September 2022.

The ban prohibited farmers from moving cattle after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

FMD was most prevalent in farms, feedlots and communal areas in various provinces in the country.

Agriculture minister, Thoko Didiza said that the cooperation of traditional leaders, communities and the police assisted in limiting the spread, and said that it was encouraging that the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces have not had a case before and during the 21 days.

In Gauteng and North West, there had been suspected cases around quarantined farms. In Mpumalanga, no new cases were picked up in the past week.

Disease management area

Reggie Ngcobo, spokesperson for the department, said that the decision to lift the ban was based on the progress that the state veterinary services made over the past 21 days, saying that the department will continue surveillance and vaccination in affected areas that still have active infections.

Ngcobo said that in Limpopo the department plans to retain the disease management area in the protected zone and around and that in the Free State departments disease management area will cover those areas where no improvement has been observed, such as Marquad, Viljoen Skroon and Harrismith.

In KwaZulu-Natal, he said the disease management area would be retained in KwaNongoma, Ulundi, KwaHlabisa, eHluhluwe and eMtubatuba.

Ngcobo added that to limit the negative effects of the disease as much as possible, the minister has decided to repeal the control measures relating to foot and mouth disease as prescribed in the Government Notice No 2075 of 10 May 2022 and Government Notice No 2391 of 18 August 2022, and allow movements under certain conditions in the rest of the country except the new disease management areas in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State.

All movements must be accompanied by the owner’s declaration; the recipient undertaking to isolate the animals for at least 28 days before introducing them to the main herd; and all stock theft documents.

Didiza said her department would continue with surveillance and vaccination in the areas that still had active infections, calling pon farmers and communities to observe the health protocols that have been put in place and refrain from the illegal movement of cattle or animals.

Welcoming the lifting of the ban, Beefmaster Group said it also welcomes the stricter measures regarding the movement of animals meant for direct slaughter, and that red cross permits will only be issued for transportation if certain conditions are met.

The RPO also noted with gratitude the minister's decision to lift the ban on the movement of cattle due to foot-and-mouth disease, with immediate effect. . The organisation also thanks to the minister for taking into account all the representations of role players in the value chain due to the ban and its impact on the red meat value chain. Adding that the cooperation of DALRRD in this regard is appreciated.

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