Minister Didiza appoints team of experts to tackle SA’s animal biosecurity issues

The minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has appointed a Ministerial Task Team on Animal Biosecurity with a special emphasis on Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine Fever and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

The team of experts, which is largely independent, but with significant government and international experience, includes Professor Johann Kirsten, Dr Kgabi Mogajane, Dr Gideon Bruckner, and Dr Shadrack Moephuli.

Didiza said that the purpose of the task team is to find mechanisms and provide recommendations on a range of key decisions, whereby a collaborative initiative between government and private sector, through a public private partnership (PPP) can be established to tackle the country’s animal biosecurity issues.

“The task team will also be responsible for issues which will include, and not limited to realistic strategies with the intent to have an outcome that can be implemented by affected stakeholders,” said DALRRD spokesperson, Reggie Ngcobo.

The task team will further focus on the complexity of the overall animal and public health system in a “One Health” approach, and liaise with technical task teams of African Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease and Avian Influenza.

“It will consider the roles of provincial government laboratories and private sector laboratories in disease monitoring, residue tests, meat hygiene with emphasis on all stakeholders’ consideration,” said Ncgobo.

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