The Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in January 2019 resulted in the suspension of South Africa's FMD status and a subsequent ban on wool and animal skin exports to China. Agri SA together with its affiliates and DAFF have since been engaging with the Chinese authorities to show that South Africa's wool and skin exports are safe for export. Following these efforts, the Chinese authorities announced the lifting of the ban.
"DAFF managed to swiftly form a partnership with several captains of industry in the livestock sector," said Dr Pieter Prinsloo, chairman of the Agri SA’s Commodity Chamber. "The FMD steering committee managed to contain the disease and established plans to improve biosecurity practices in hot spots. We would like to congratulate both Dr Botlhe Modisane, the chief director of animal production and health in DAFF and Dr Pieter Vervoort head of the National Animal Health Forum (NAHF) for the leadership role they played."
Agri SA together with representatives from the South African Feedlot Association (SAFA), The Skin, Hide and Leather Council (SHALC), Cape Wool and the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA), met with deputy minister, Sifiso Buthelezi and director-general, Mike Mlengana to discuss the status of wool and animal exports to China.
"Although we are still in the process of regaining our FMD-free status, we celebrate the success of this private-public partnership," said Jolanda Andrag, head of the Agri SA’s Commodity Chamber.
Agri SA will continue to work closely with DAFF and the relevant industry players on this matter.