Sunday, 24 April 2022 15:38

Government commits to urgently deal with foot-and-mouth outbreak.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has assured farmers that her department was doing all it can to curb the foot-and-mouth disease that has spread to five provinces.

Didiza met with MECs and officials from Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, the Free State, and KwaZulu-Natal earlier this week.

The minister says slaughtering and culling have been implemented in Gauteng and will now be done in North West and the Free State.

She said this approach was aimed at ensuring that the provinces remain free of the disease.

"An urgent meeting will be held with the premier and MEC in Limpopo next week to ensure swift and appropriate actions are put in place to stem and contain the disease in Limpopo."

"KZN team has been meeting with the industry to undertake quick surveillance after the floods to ensure that we contain the disease in the disaster management area," Didiza said.

"There will be zero tolerance on the unlawful movement of cloven-hoofed livestock from infected areas or properties and I want to reiterate that traceability is a joint venture which must be driven by the industry and LITS SA for implementation."

The outbreaks currently troubling South Africa were caused by illegal movements of animals out of the controlled zones in Limpopo to other provinces.

Didiza says she will soon release the recommendations report from the Ministerial Biosecurity for Animal Health Technical Task Team by end of April.

Foot and mouth disease has a major impact on trade in livestock and livestock products but has no impact on human health. The meat from animals slaughtered at an abattoir where necessary inspections are conducted are safe for consumption.

Government has identified livestock auctions as the problem behind the spread of foot and mouth disease where animals are moved around across provinces.

Last week, it was announced that more veterinarians will be needed to assist in monitoring the disease in the affected areas, along with law enforcement.