A Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak has been detected in cattle in Mtubatuba in southern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

A team from the KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Department are busy with investigations to determine the extent of the outbreak.

Department Spokesperson, Reggie Ngcobo, is urging farmers to restrict the movement of their cattle in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.

“We urge our farmers in an effort to prevent further spread of the disease. While the extent of the outbreak is being determined, an immediate temporary standstill of all cloven-hoofed animals, including livestock and game; has been imposed in the District Municipalities of King Cetshwayo and Umkhanyakude, as well as the Local Municipalities of Nongoma, Ulundi and Pongola in the Zululand District Municipality. No movement of live cloven-hoofed animals is allowed into and out of or through these districts,” says Ngcobo.

Farmers are urged to observe bio-security measure.

“Farmers in northern region of KZN, outside the temporary standstill area, are cautioned to observe bio-security measures, not to allow any new animals into their herds, and to minimise the movement of their own herds to other farms,” says Ngcobo.

Ngcobo has allayed any fears of the disease affecting people.

“Foot and Mouth Disease is a severe, highly contagious viral disease which affects livestock with significant economic impact. The disease does not affect human beings; hence the consumers have no reason for concern.”