The outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in South Africa are abating in some areas, while spread is still ongoing in other areas. The outbreaks that had spread to an auction and three farms in Free State and Gauteng provinces were successfully controlled and the farms were cleared of affected animals. These cases will be officially closed as soon as disinfection processes as well as surveillance have been concluded. The Department thanks the affected farmers, the livestock industry and the Veterinary Services of the two provinces for their cooperation and assistance to effectively control these outbreaks.
The outbreaks of FMD in KwaZulu- Natal (KZN) province are still ongoing, with five new cases identified in the past two weeks. This bring the total number of affected dip tanks to 66 since the start of the outbreak in May 2021, in the district municipalities of Zululand, UMkhanyakude, King Cetshwayo District, iLembe, and eThekwini. Vaccination in the province is continuing and more than 190 000 animals were vaccinated since the start of the vaccination campaign in mid-March 2022.
Buffalo with antibodies against FMD were identified in Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park in KZN. This is a serious challenge, since buffalo become permanent carriers of the disease without showing clinical signs. The Department held a meeting with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and discussed options in order to determine the best way forward. The park is undergoing serological surveillance to determine the status of the rest of the buffalos within the park.
The outbreaks in the North West province have increased to 14 in the past two weeks. All affected properties and adjacent premises have remained under quarantine since the start of the event. Cattle on the affected properties in North West province are being vaccinated to decrease the viral load and these properties will be depopulated in a controlled manner as soon as practical routes to do so have been identified.
In Limpopo province, a total of 8 positive locations were identified in the Thulamela area since the disease was found in April 2022. Further surveillance of dip tanks and farms in the Disease Management Area is continuing, with the first round of vaccination in the area having been completed at the end of May 2022.
The outbreaks in KZN and Limpopo province are present in areas where it is difficult to enforce individual farm quarantine, therefore Disease Management Areas (DMAs) were declared in both these areas. A Movement Control Protocol is available to guide movements of cloven hoofed animals and their products out of, into, through and within the DMAs.
All persons intending to move any other cloven hoofed livestock or products must obtain movement permits from the DMA permit office prior to the movement. Applications for movement, as well as the details of the Movement Control Protocol is available from the DMA permit offices at the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) for KZN and Limpopo respectively.
The following products from cloven hoofed animals may move without permits:
• Milk and milk products
• Fully cooked or “break-dry” meat products
• Wool and hair
• Grass, hay and dry manure
• Raw meat and meat products for own consumption from domestic livestock, up to 50 kg of meat per vehicle, provided the meat is packaged so as to prevent exposure and leakage of the content, and labelled and accompanied by a printed receipt from a butchery or commercial retailer.
• Meat products moving INTO the DMA must be accompanied by proof of purchase stating origin of such products to confirm origin outside of the DMA.
The Department wishes to again remind all stakeholders in the livestock industry to abide by the movement restrictions that have been put in place to prevent further spread of FMD within the country. Further, all farmers and owners of livestock must safeguard themselves by applying biosecurity measures on their farms and only buy healthy animals from well-known and reputable sources. Farms and feedlots are also advised to isolate new animals before introduction into the resident herds.