The minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Thoko Didiza, has announced the reduction in the size of the disease management area (DMA) affected by foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

This decision follows the conclusion of the second round of serological surveillance. It has been established that the disease, within the DMA, is still confined to two clusters of dip tanks in Mtubatuba and Nongoma. This shows that the restriction on the movement of animals out of, within, through and into the DMA was sufficient to prevent the disease from spreading. 

Since FMD has not spread within or outside of the DMA, the size of the KZN DMA can now be decreased. This will release areas that remained free of the disease from movement restrictions, while still maintaining restrictions on the areas where the disease is still present.  

The minister declared the new KZN DMA in Gazette No 45109 of 7September 2021, which includes the following areas:

  • Portions of the Pongola Local Municipality east of the R66, and south and west of the N2.
  • The whole of the Nongoma Local Municipality.
  • Portions of the Big Five Hlabisa Local Municipality west of the N2.
  • The whole of the Mtubatuba Local Municipality.
  • The whole of the Mfolozi Local Municipality.
  • Portions of the uMhlathuze Local Municipality north of the R34.
  • The whole of Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park.

In total, FMD was detected and confirmed in 29 locations, comprising two clusters of dip tanks in communal grazing land as well as two commercial properties.

The local municipalities of Umhlabuyalingana, Jozini, eDumbe, Abaqulusi, Ulundi, Nkandla, Mthonjaneni and uMlalazi have been released from movement restrictions. 

“I wish to applaud the farmers and communities that have adhered to the movement restrictions imposed upon them, which has made it possible to reduce the area under restrictions,” said minister Didiza.

There are still signs of circulating FMD virus within the two clusters, thus the movement protocol and permit system for movement of cloven-hoofed animals remain in place in the revised DMA.  Movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their products into, out of, through or within the DMA is still only allowed on authority of a permit issued by the veterinary services of the area.

The movement protocol can be obtained from KZN Veterinary Services. Visible veterinary patrols and roadblocks will remain in place in the reduced DMA to control the movement of livestock and to monitor adherence to the movement protocol. 

Livestock owners are encouraged to submit all applications for movement to the provincial veterinary movement control officers for evaluation and risk assessment. Applications and queries can be submitted to fmdpermitskzn@gmail.com.

All stakeholders are again reminded to continue abiding by the movement restrictions still in place in the reduced DMA, as these restrictions are deemed necessary to prevent the escape of the virus out of the affected areas.  As soon as the virus is no longer circulating in these areas, the remaining movement restrictions can also be reconsidered. – Press release, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development