The National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development says the ban on livestock sales imposed on all provinces, has not been lifted.
The ban was imposed in September this year due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, particularly in the Limpopo province. This has led to the closure of all cattle feedlot, livestock auctions and free market sales.
The department’s spokesperson, Reggie Ngcobo, says 14 farms in Limpopo with an estimated 20 000 herds of cattle are affected.
“We can confirm that there’s no decision that has been taken to uplift the ban of movement of animals. But what we are doing as the department is that we are working very closely with the industry to come up with movement control measures to ensure that when the Minister is advised to uplift the ban then there are control measures. We can confirm there 14 farms that are affected in Limpopo with almost 20 000 cattle.”
Farm murders and stock theft
Meanwhile, Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Ministry has expressed outrage at the high number of farm murders and the increase in stock theft that have been reported during the festive season.
According to the crime stats released in parliament in September 2019, 47 farm murders were reported in the 2018-2019 financial year.
Stock theft in the country is up by 2,9% with almost 30 000 animals having been stolen between April last year and March this year. Cattle has been the prime target of stock thieves followed by sheep, goat and horses.
Ngcobo says “Minister Thoko Didiza has expressed outrage at the number of stock theft that has been reported this festive season as well as some murders of farmers. The minister believes that the loss of livestock to stock theft has not only impacted those who were directly affected but to the entire livestock industry. She also wishes to send her deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones during these farmer and farmworkers’ attacks. She trusts our law enforcement agencies will do what it takes to put those responsible behind bars.”