Traders and auctioneers may sell livestock again, after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease last year caused the halting of sales. The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Reform, Thoko Didiza made the announcement on Monday morning.
She told journalists in Parliament that her department is confident that the disease has been sufficiently managed to allow for trade to resume. An outbreak of foot and mouth disease was reported in Limpopo in November last year.
In an interview last year Didiza explained the impact of the disease on the meat industry :
In an effort to contain the spreading of the disease, government placed a countrywide ban on all trading of livestock. Didiza has now lifted the ban.
“Particularly for auctioneers whose business is about trading, but understood that we had to protect the entire red meat industry of SA, so we called this press conference to announce the removal of the ban across the country because we are convinced of the work done.”
Strict measures will be in place for the auctioning and trading of livestock. Didiza says among others, only agents registered with the Agriculture Agents Council may conduct auctions.
"Auctions will now be conducted under strict stringent conditions. All livestock must be registered with the Agricultural Producer Agents Council (APAC), " said Minister Didiza #FMD @DRDLR_online @SAgovnews
— Department of Agriculture, Land Ref and Rural Dev. (@DALRRDgov_ZA) February 17, 2020
“We want to indicate, we also would ensure people who are trading must not move high risk animals such as animals showing signs of disease, animals from unknown origin or animals from known infected areas.”
A representative from the Red Meat Producers Association, Gerrit Schutte, congratulated the department for its swift containment of the disease.
“This was very hard work, thank you very much. We will work with the department, PPP (Purchasing Power Parity ) is the way to go. We will self-regulate and ensure that self-detection is implemented over time. I can also say although we lost our FMD (Foot-and-Mouth Disease-free) status, I had a look at the figures and our exports are at the same level we were at in 2015, China you opened up for us, thank you very much.”