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Minister halts all cattle movement due to FMD outbreak

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has taken the decision to suspend all movement of cattle in the country due to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease. Under the suspension, cattle may not be moved from one property to another for any reason for a period of 21 days reviewable weekly.
Source: Pixabay via
Source: Pixabay via Pexels

The country is currently experiencing 116 outbreaks of FMD, involving farms, feedlots and communal areas in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Free State Provinces.

The ban will be declared in Government Gazette. Any disregard for the movement ban is a criminal offence.

The exception will only be upon veterinary permit for:

1. Cattle for direct slaughter at registered abattoirs
2. Slaughter for ritual purposes

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

Didiza warns perpetrators that are illegally moving cattle that they will be prosecuted for contravention of the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act no 35 of 1984).

Due to the major disruption that the movement ban will cause in the normal business of many sectors, the ban is only applicable to cattle, as the movement of cattle was identified as the main cause of the continued spread of the outbreaks. However, the public is reminded that all cloven-hoofed animals can spread the disease, and the movement of sheep, goats, pigs and cloven-hoofed game animals should also be handled with the necessary caution.

Animals showing suspicious clinical symptoms (salivation, blisters in the mouth, limping or hoof lesions) must not be moved under any circumstances. Members of the public must contact their District State Veterinary Services or their private veterinarians immediately.

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