The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development takes note of the fake message that has been circulated widely on social media stating that the Vhembe district of Limpopo has been cleared of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). This is fake news and the message should not be shared or circulated any further.

Ongoing investigations

Trace back and forward investigations from farms that were proved to be FMD positive are still ongoing. These identified locations remain under precautionary quarantine until diagnostic testing is completed and the status of these farms has been confirmed as negative for FMD. This phase has not been completed yet.

The prohibition on the gathering of cloven hoofed animals from two or more properties, for distribution to two or more properties, as published in the Government Gazette on 4 December 2019 and applicable to the whole country, is still in place. This notice does not prohibit the movement of livestock from farm to farm, or private auctions of individual farms. The gazetted notice is available on the DAFF website.

A review of the situation will only be considered once all the involved properties are tested and the investigation of the outbreak has been completed in order to confidently exclude any further FMD virus circulation.

Precautionary measures

The department still encourages animal owners to apply the following basic measures to prevent their animals from being infected: Not moving high risk animals;
only buying animals from a proven source; insisting on a veterinary health declaration to accompany any animals that are brought in.

Any suspected cases of FMD must be reported to the nearest state veterinary office or the nearest veterinarian for further investigation. Owners who have bought animals from known infected properties are also encouraged to report this to the provincial veterinary authorities for speedy follow up investigations. – Press release, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

For media inquiries, contact Reggie Ngcobo on 082 883 2458. For technical inquiries, contact Dr Botlhe Modisane on 063 693 0330.