Namibia ‘largely unaffected’ by SA’s FMD outbreak

Foot and mouth disease affects all cloven-hoofed domestic animals and is a severe, highly contagious viral disease.

While local meat producers and exporters are in a tailspin over the potential fall-out of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak, South Africa’s neighbour, Namibia, is less concerned about a major economic impact.

Trade manager for the Namibian Meat Board, Goliath Tujendapi, said in an online statement yesterday: "We do not expect it to affect the local economy, as about 70% or more meat products consumed in the country comes from the local market. The effects will only be felt if it continues for long.”

The retail sector, which directly imports from South Africa, would however be affected, he conceded, noting that consumers would find those shelves empty.

A confirmed case of FMD in Limpopo’s Vhembe district was announced by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff) earlier this week.

The Vhembe district is at the border of South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, close to the Kruger National Park.

All in-transit movements of cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa into Namibia have been suspended.

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