Foot and Mouth disease, which was detected last month, has spread to five commercial facilities in Limpopo.

As a result all livestock auctions in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and Gauteng have been temporarily suspended to try and contain the spread of the disease.

About 300 livestock auctions are held in the four provinces every week, generating an income of about R1 billion per week.

Farmers are up-in-arms saying that the auctions are their livelihood.

The Agriculture Department has pleaded with farmers to respect the ban.

Speaking on Morning Live, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza says to try and limit the financial strain on farmers, online sales and one on one sales can take place.

She says this has been done to ensure that there is no movement. This will help limit the spread of the disease.

She assured the public that red meat is safe and her Department is doing everything to contain the disease.

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