Two more cases of foot and mouth disease outbreak have been reported in the Free State

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Two new cases of foot and mouth disease outbreak have been reported in Harrismith in the Free State. This comes at the time when the Department of Agriculture lifted the 21-day nationwide ban on the movement of cattle.

Launching extra measures to curb the spread of foot and mouth disease, government is targetting areas that have recorded new infections.

Vehicles moving in between the farms are being disinfected.

The Department of Agriculture has warned those in the affected areas to abide by the animal movement ban.

The animal movement ban will continue in the Fezile Dabi and Thabo Mofutsanyana districts of the Free State. Currently, in the province 29 properties and a commonage are under quarantine and animals have been vaccinated.

Free State Head of Veterinary Services Dr Kristan Mojapelo says, “Its now not only going to involve cattle, we are also going to limit the movement of sheep and goats because they are also known to transmit this virus. We have said that infected farms have been placed under quarantine, now we are bringing the roadblocks to specifically target these vehicles that are moving between farms so that as one vehicle before it goes to the next farm we are able to disinfect it off the virus that may be lodged in the tyres of the vehicles.”

Six of the nine provinces have been affected by the outbreak. The animal movement ban will remain in place for areas with active infections.

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Director of Animal Health at the Department of Agriculture, Dr Mpho Maja says, “Minister has announced few disease management areas in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal as well as in the Free state. Animals in those disease management areas cattle sheep and goats are not allowed to be moved.”

The department appeals to all the stakeholders to work together, for the ban to be lifted in all areas.

The department is investigating a case of an auction that took place during the ban leading to the new infection in the Thabo Mofutsanyana district.