Suspension of cattle movement will negatively affect small-scale farmers: AgriSA

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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.

Minister of Agriculture Thoko Didiza suspended the movement of cattle in the country due to the outbreak of the disease, meaning that cattle may not be moved from one property to another, for 21 days.

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 main economic liability is based on the cattle and livestock from our small-holder farmers. But with regards to commercial farmers, it is better because the slaughtering of the cattle and abattoirs are still taking place under the control of the permit services,” says Gumede.