Following the outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease in the North West and Free State Provinces, the Northern Cape placed its officials on high alert and conducted targeted surveillance at known places of animal congregation.
The Northern Cape MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Mme Mase Manopole, would like to urge farmers in the Province, to maintain their vigilance as the threat to the Province is still present.
“While officials can conduct surveillance, a farmer or persons involved in trade of animals and animal products have a duty to ensure that the disease is not introduced onto their property and that they know the Health status of the animals they buy,” said MEC Manopole.
The Province have also observed a disturbing trend that animals are not permanently marked as required by Section 7 of the Animal Identification Act, Act 6 of 2002.
“This is a matter which we will have to escalate to the Stock Theft police directorate and other stakeholders. We have also noted that while officials target known places, there are animal traders’ speculators who first background cattle on farms before presenting them at auctions, abattoirs or feedlots and that the surveillance may miss the initial introduction of suspect animals into the Province. We urge farmers to be extra vigilant in this regard and demand information of origin of animals before they arrive for backgrounding,” MEC Manopole said.