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Feedlots and farmers have been warned that foot-and-mouth disease remains a present danger for the industry after an outbreak was confirmed in North West, South Africa Photo: FW Archive

Zimbabwe suspends South African livestock imports after foot and mouth outbreak

Zimbabwe suspends South African livestock imports after foot and mouth outbreak

HARARE – Zimbabwe has suspended imports of livestock and meat from South Africa after an outbreak of foot and mouth in the north of the country, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday.

This follows the recent announcement by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development that South Africa is battling 56 outbreaks of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), on farms and in communal areas in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and Gauteng provinces.

FMD is a transboundary animal disease that is easily transmitted from one region to another through illegal movement of infected live cloven-hoofed animals and their products from infected regions or countries.

“To that effect, the Minister is requesting maximum cooperation from all stakeholders to eliminate the risk of entry of infected animals and animal products into Zimbabwe,” the ministry said.

“It is important that everyone respects all imposed control measures to collectively protect our territory. The outbreaks currently troubling South Africa were caused by illegal movements of animals out of the FMD control zones in Limpopo.”

“The damages caused by FMD outbreaks have a negative impact on trade and the economy of the country, as well as the individual livestock owners. In view of the forgoing, and in terms of the Animal Health Act [Chapter 19:01], issuance of permits to import live cloven-hoofed animals and their products has been suspended. Further, all unused permits have been cancelled forthwith.”

The Ministry, through the Department of Veterinary Services, said it will continue to monitor the FMD situation in the Republic of South Africa, and stakeholders will be advised accordingly.