On 4 December 2019 the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries published an update on the new prescribed regulatory control measures relating to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Government Gazette. This was done in a bid to curb further spread of the disease throughout the country.

This regulatory update follows a report issued by the Directorate of Animal Health at the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, confirming ten foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in various locations throughout Limpopo.

New control measures

The control measures include a nationwide ban on live auctions of all cloven-hoofed animals. According to the department’s notice, the ban pertains to any activity (auctions, shows or speculators) that requires these animals to be physically transported to a piece of land or property, from two or more places of origin, for the purpose of distributing the animals through sales, barter transactions or any other means to two or more new destinations.

However, if animals with auditable records are kept separate from other animals for 28 days after their arrival on new grounds, before being sold, and if there are no new additions, the animals can be redistributed. Transportation of animals to abattoirs is still permissible.

Importance of veterinary health certificates

According to Dr Pieter Vervoort, managing director of the National Animal Health Forum, it is in the interest of buyers to insist on a veterinary health certificate that declare cloven-hoofed animals free of FMD before new animals are bought or transported. Although these health certificates are not a 100% guarantee, they ensure the highest probability of staying FMD-free.

The department urges anyone to report distribution activities of cloven-hoofed animals to their state veterinarian that do not comply with the above regulatory requirements. – Claudi Nortjé, Plaas Media

Click on this link to read the full FMD update published in the Government Gazette.