11 January 2019

Zimbabwe: Govt Bans SA Animal Imports Over Foot-N-Mouth

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Government has, with immediate effect, suspended the importation of all live cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in some parts of Limpopo Province on Tuesday.

Botswana has also taken similar action.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement said the position was arrived at following an outbreak of the disease, affecting the non-vaccination disease-free zone in the Limpopo Province.

FMD was reported in these areas on Tuesday, although authorities say the affected places will not affect the country's meat export business.

"The control of foot and mouth disease involves the implementation of trade restrictions," said the ministry in a statement.

"Consequently, all imports that had been issued before 09-01-2019 and not used are hereby cancelled.

"In line with the Animal Health Act CAP 10:01, the issuance of permits is a mandatory requirement for the importation of all animal products. Any import application will now be considered on a case by case basis depending on the risk."

Government said the Department of Veterinary Service would continue monitoring the situation, in view of progress to be made in the control of the outbreak.

On Tuesday, the highly contagious disease, which poses a threat to the livestock industry, was detected in the northern district of South Africa's Limpopo Province.

Positive laboratory results for the viral disease, which causes lesions and lameness in cattle and sheep, were taken in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province, which borders Zimbabwe.

The South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in a statement, said the affected areas were under quarantine and investigations to verify the results and determine the extent of the outbreak were being conducted.

"We have quickly quarantined the area, so it does not affect the commercial livestock farming which will pose a danger to us as consumers and the export business," said that country's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokesman, Khaye Nkwanyana.

The World Organisation for Animal Health has officially temporarily suspended South Africa's FMD free status, but exports were continuing as the affected cattle were not from commercial farmers.

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