Meat exports in jeopardy after foot and mouth outbreak in Limpopo

Cattle in the Vhembe district have been found positive for foot and mouth disease.

Meat and livestock exports from the Vhembe district in Limpopo are in jeopardy after the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff) announced positive results for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in cattle in the region.

“As is standard protocol, the matter was reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on Monday and the official OIE-recognised FMD-free status of South Africa is temporarily suspended,” said Daff spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana, explaining that this meant that any exports where FMD free zone attestation was required, could not be certified.

He said a team of experts from the department and the Limpopo Veterinary Services was on the ground conducting further investigations to verify the results and determine the extent of the outbreak. The control measures will be determined by the findings of this investigation.”

“FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease which affects livestock with significant economic impact,” said Nkwanyana, highlighting that the disease affected cattle, pigs (domestic and wild), sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed animals.

Signs of disease may include depressed animals, sores in the mouth of animals causing reluctance to eat, and lameness. Humans are not affected by the disease.

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