The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) is sticking to its wits over the banning of livestock auctions.
Since the outbreak, media reports went speculating over governments total inertia to tackle the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
According to DALRRD more than 130 points were identified with possible links to specific auctions and known affected properties.
“Follow-up investigations and collection of samples were already performed on 95 of these points and precautionary quarantine has been lifted on 44 properties that have been proven negative for FMD” it said in a statement.
In what seems to be an ongoing fist of fury between DALRRD and farmers, the relationship and understanding broke down when farmers resorted to the High Court to halt the banning of livestock auctions.
The anger of farmers is so palpable to the point that they have blatantly ignored advise from organised red meat bodies.
“This ban is too drastic; we have seen nothing going on in containing the movement of livestock from the area the outbreak occurred. Worse, there we no roadblocks and the supposed quarantined FMD area the boom gates are not working” said the source.
According to DARRLD the notice did not prohibit the movement of livestock from farm to farm, or private auctions at individual farms.
In December, the Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) had put out a statement confirming that the measure placed by DALRRD was preventative measure and not punitive.
“It must be realised that the State is not going to provide the solutions alone. The red meat industry therefore also undertakes to generate additional capacity from its own ranks in order to make the prevention and spread of the disease a team effort’ said RPO Chairperson Koos van der Ryst.
DALRRD found itself in a quagmire of sorts; taking the interests of the public by preventing harmful products marauding or risking the income of the 1.2 million of households dependent on livestock.