Limpopo farmers strained by foot and mouth disease, avian flu

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Farmers in Limpopo are calling on the Agriculture Department to support them in their fight against the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease and Avian Flu.

The province is facing Foot and Mouth disease in the areas along the Kruger National Park. The disease has in the past affected the Vhembe and Mopani districts.

This has resulted in the restricted movement and sale of cattle in the province.

The Agriculture MEC Thabo Mokone has urged farmers to avoid buying livestock from the affected areas.

Mokone says, “We want to teach them that every time they have cattle coming from the affected area they must quarantine them for a specific day and they must make sure those cattle are affected because that will affect that new area. We want to make sure that their cattle are vaccinated from time to time.”

Farmers in Limpopo struggle to combat spread of Foot and Mouth Disease

Affected farmers met with officials from the department during the Agri-preneur Summit in Polokwane. These farmers say it’s important for the department to support them with knowledge and training.

“I think the best thing the government can do is to train us to tell what symptoms we can look for before the animals get sick – because I do think it’s good to treat something we can prevent. We used to buy the old chicken at a less price, now the prices hiked and our commission has been assisted. So, we like government to assist us with funding and grants so we can buy feeds,” says Mokone.

Foot and Mouth Disease is a highly contagious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, such as cattle, sheep, and pigs. The disease causes fever and blisters on the mouth, feet, and teats of affected animals. Avian Flu is a viral disease that affects birds. The disease can cause high mortality rates in poultry and can also spread to humans.

The Agriculture Department said that it is working to control the spread of both Foot and Mouth Disease and Avian Flu in Limpopo. The department has also said that it is providing support to affected farmers.

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