The origin of foot and mouth disease investigated in KwaZulu-Natal

Cattle grazing.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

At least three district municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal have been declared disease management areas after an outbreak and spread of Foot and Mouth disease which was first discovered in May at the Umkhanyakude District Municipality.

The virus strain has been identified as a FMD SAT2. However, economists have raised concerns over the biosecurity challenges in the Livestock and Poultry sectors.

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, says the origin of the outbreak is still under investigation.

“It is important for us to contain the movement of animals and meat in these areas,” says Thoko Didiza.

In the video from December 2019, Minister Didiza speaks about outbreak in Limpopo at the time:

The Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak has been detected in cattle in Mtubatuba in southern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Farmers are urged to observe bio-security measure.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the ISimangaliso Wetlands Park have introduced a compulsory wheel and wheel arch spraying at the entry gates of the parks. This is to combat the spread of foot and mouth disease into their Protected Areas.

This, after the declaration of Zululand, Umkhanyakude, and King Cetshwayo Municipal Districts as Disease Management Areas (DMAs) because of the severe spread of Foot and mouth disease. Ezemvelo spokesperson Musa Mntambo says this precaution is due to the fact that this disease might be present in animal extracts on roads accessing the entrances to wildlife areas.

“Initially, the affected gates will be Nyalazi and Cengeni Gates at Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. The affected gates under iSimangaliso are Nhlozi Gate (Charter’s Creek), Dukuduku and Bhangazi at Cape Vidal. Other gates may also be included should it be necessary. The spraying process is quick and will not cause any unnecessary delays to guests entering our Parks. These measures have been introduced to curb the possible spread of the disease to the game stock in these Protected Areas” says Musa Mntambo.