South Africa suspends movement of cattle to prevent foot and mouth disease

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The South African government on Tuesday banned all movements of cattle in the country to curb the spread of foot and mouth diseases, said a government official on Tuesday.

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza on Tuesday said no cattle could be moved from one property to the other for whatever reason in the next 21 days. She said the suspension would be reviewed weekly.

“Cattle that are already at shows, auctions, and en route into the republic will be given 48 hours to be permitted to move to the final destination after being sold, the local state veterinary office should be contacted for these permits,” said Didiza.

She stated that the country is working hard to contain 116 foot and mouth diseases in various provinces in the country. Didiza said the country has experienced foot and mouth disease in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and Free State provinces. She said the disease has continued to spread with 15 new properties and two new provinces affected in the last two weeks.

The government called on the people to report to the veterinary service officials any animals showing symptoms of the disease. The symptoms, according to the government, include salivation, blisters in the mouth, and limping or hoof lesions. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development said the cattle would only be moved to direct slaughter at registered abattoirs and slaughtered for ritual purposes.

The foot and mouth disease has resulted in China temporarily suspending the importation of wool from South Africa in April 2022. Enditem

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