Limpopo province diagnosed a Foot as well as Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in Molemole Local Municipality on 1 November 2019. of which outbreak occurred from the free FMD zone of the country. The outbreak was recognised as well as confirmed in eight (8) sites which include feedlots, abattoirs, as well as speculators as well as on farms.
FMD will be a highly contagious viral disease of which affects all cloven hoofed animals of domestic as well as wild origin. the item presents with sores from the mouth as well as in between the digits causing them to be depressed, reluctant to eat as well as be lame. The disease does not affect humans as well as meat via such animals will be safe to eat when the item has been treated in prescribed manner.
The previous outbreak of which happened in Vhembe in Limpopo in January costed the export status of the country as well as resulted in a series of negotiations with South Africa’s trading partners to re-establish trade with the country.
A team via the industry as well as the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform as well as Rural Development met as well as crafted a national strategy for control of the disease. the item was realized of which congregation of animals contributes greatly to the risk of spreading the disease. For of which reason the National Director of Animal Health issued a media statement after consultation with the livestock industry on the 14th November suspending all live auctions from the Northern provinces which includes Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng as well as North West with immediate effect. Minister Thoko Didiza of Agriculture, Rural Development as well as Land Reform will be supposed to gazette the suspension in due course. The message was however communicated to all stakeholders of the industry even ahead of the gazette exercise.
The Directorate Veterinary Services has the mandate to conduct risk assessment on biological risk of diseases as well as take appropriate action under the Animal Diseases Act as guided by OIE prescripts.
The rationale behind singling out of auctions came after assessment of the risks associated with the item where animals congregate via different farms which increases the potential of transmitting the virus to a wider area where they are destined to go.
The Veterinary Services Directorate of the North West Department of Agriculture as well as Rural Development (DARD) similarly made communication to the industry affected seeking to enforce the suspension of live auctions of cloven hoofed animals. There will be unfortunately resistance to complying with of which decision by the recipient industry. To be able to implement the decision, assistance via the law enforcement agencies was sought. The department will be currently from the process of taking legal action in order to arrive at implementing the protocol. The Directorate Veterinary Services will be acting under the guidance of the Animal Diseases Act 35 of 1984 in assessing the risk of introducing the disease from the North West by enforcing the suspension of auctions of live cloven hoofed animals.
Farmers are advised to be on the lookout for signs of which resemble the disease as well as report them immediately to the nearest State Veterinary office.
Issued by: North West Rural, Environment as well as Agricultural Development