Botswana bans SA imports after foot-and-mouth disease reported in Limpopo

Sores in the mouth of animals suffering from foot-and-mouth disease causes reluctance to eat and lameness. Image: Farmer's Weekly website

Sores in the mouth of animals suffering from foot-and-mouth disease causes reluctance to eat and lameness. Image: Farmer's Weekly website

South Africa’s own agriculture department said the affected area was under quarantine.

Botswana says it has immediately banned the import of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products from neighbouring South Africa after a report of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Limpopo province.

South Africa’s department of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries said on Tuesday it had been informed of positive laboratory results for the disease in the province’s Vhembe district after samples were collected during an investigation following reports of cattle with lameness.

It said the matter had been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health and that South Africa’s official FMD-free status had been temporarily suspended.

Botswana said, in addition to the ban on imports, the movement of cloven-hoofed animals originating from South Africa and transiting through Botswana was not allowed.

“The importation of veldt grasses, bedding, and animal manure-contaminated products and vehicles are also not allowed,” said the ministry of agricultural development and food security.

“All permits issued in respect to the above products are cancelled with immediate effect.”

South Africa’s own agriculture department said the affected area was under quarantine and no movement of animals and animal products was allowed.

FMD is a severe and highly contagious viral disease which affects livestock with significant economic impact. The disease affects cattle, pigs (domestic and wild), sheep, goats, and other cloven-hoofed animals.

The disease does not affect human beings.

Signs of disease may include depressed animals, sores in the mouth of animals causing reluctance to eat, and lameness.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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