Agri SA says the total ban on the movement of cattle, to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, comes too late.

The organization says the ban would have a severely negative impact on farming areas that have not recorded any cases of the disease.

The Minister of Agriculture, Thoko Didiza, made the announcement yesterday, effectively locking down all of the country’s cattle herds for a period of 21 days.

Executive Director at Agri SA, Christo van der Rheede says these lockdown measures should have been implemented in FMD-affected provinces weeks ago.

 

Cattle may not be moved from one property to another for a period of 21 days. The suspension will be reviewed weekly.

Van der Rheede says they urged the government to implement this ban weeks ago.

He says the government should have acted much sooner which would have prevented a total ban.

The ban will be declared in the Government Gazette, and any disregard for it will be regarded as a criminal offence.

Earlier this year, the government announced that there were dozens of cases in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, and Gauteng.

While usually not lethal, the disease causes blisters and can cause death in some animals.

It is not readily transmissible to humans and does not cause serious illness.

According to the World Association for Animal Health, the disease is not a public health risk.

In April this year, China imposed a ban on wool exports from SA following outbreaks of FMD in parts of the country.

The local wool industry estimates it has so far lost an estimated R734 million in wool exports to China.

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The Department of Agriculture has announced a national ban on moving cattle to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

Cattle may not be moved from one property to another for a period of 21 days.

The Department says the ban will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

There will be exceptions, including if there is a veterinary permit for direct slaughter at registered abattoirs and for slaughter for ritual purposes.

Spokesperson for Minister Thoko Didiza, Reggie Ngcobo, says cattle that are already at shows, auctions and en route into the republic will be given 48 hours to be permitted to move to final destination after being sold.

He says farmers should contact their local state veterinary office for these permits.

He says the country is currently experiencing 116 incidents of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), involving farms, feedlots, and communal areas in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and the Free State.

Only the three Cape provinces, the Eastern-, Western- and Northern Cape, do not have any cases of FMD.

The ban is currently only applicable to cattle, as this was identified as the main cause of the continued spread of the disease.

The ban will be declared in the Government Gazette, and any disregard for it will be regarded as a criminal offence.

Earlier this year, the government announced that there were dozens of cases in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, and Gauteng.

Get more information here.

Related articles:

The formal process to deregulate the price of petrol has started.

Business Insider reports Energy minister Gwede Mantashe has gazetted his “intention to introduce a price cap” for 93 octane.

That will allow retailers to discount petrol sales, with price specials, bundles, or volume discounts.

There is a 30-day period for public input, before the process can move further forward.

At present, the exact price of petrol is set by the government and it is illegal to sell petrol at any other price.

Comments can be made by emailing FuelPricing@energy.gov.za