The South African police have arrested a farmer for knowingly spreading the foot and mouth disease (FMD), said the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) on Wednesday.
The department said they reported the matter to the police following suspicious spread of the disease in Limpopo province.
“The outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the Limpopo Province has had a devastating effect on the economy of the country as a whole, and it is estimated that it has cost a lot of money, with the most severe effects felt by the red meat industry,” said DALRRD Minister Thoko Didiza.
She stated that the auctioneer knowingly received cloven-hoofed animals that were moved out of the FMD controlled area. The auctioneer then sold and moved those animals at various auctions to various individuals.
After the FMD outbreak was confirmed in Limpopo in November last year, the government quarantined the area and bared farmers from moving animals in or out of the area.
“The minister urges any persons/farmer who may be concerned that they may have bought cattle from this individual, or through any suspect transactions, or with any other information in connection with the illegal movement of cloven hoofed animals out of the FMD controlled area, to contact the department.” said Reggie Ngcobo, the department’s media liaison officer.
The department said the farmer has appeared in court and grated bail. Enditem