‘Foot and mouth disease continues to spread’

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The Department of Agriculture in KwaZulu-Natal says the foot and mouth disease is continuing to spread in the province.

Earlier, the Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza suspended the movement of cattle in the country for 21-days.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, has imposed restrictions on the movement of and trading in livestock in the uMkhanyakude District Municipality in the north of the province.

State veterinarian for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Temba Sikhakhane says people have resorted to smuggling livestock at night.

“We have been attempting to control the disease, but the problem is people are fully aware that their areas have a problem. They continue to smuggle animals out of their areas at night for lobola rituals and hence it continues to spread, up to a point that we have picked up positive cases in the Durban area,” adds Sikhakhane.

The video below discusses the impact of the ban:

Meanwhile, Agriculture South Africa (AgriSA) Deputy Chairperson Phineas Gumede says small-scale farmers will be affected by the suspension of cattle movement to control the spread of foot and mouth disease.

However, the exceptions are for cattle meant for direct slaughter at registered abattoirs and slaughter for ritual purposes.

Gumede says they are encouraging cooperation between government, farmers and communities to ensure the disease does not spread even further.

The video below reports more on the story: