18 April 2019

South Africa: No New FMD Cases Detected in Ten Weeks

There have been no new cases of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) detected in the disease management area declared in Limpopo in the last 10 weeks, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said on Wednesday.

The department reported that three incubation periods has since lapsed and intensive surveillance demonstrated that the virus did not spread and the outbreak has been contained.

Movement controls remain in place

However, strict movement controls remain in place in the disease management area and everyone is encouraged to adhere to the regulations, even though roadblocks will most likely be discontinued by the end of April 2019.

"No animals may move into, out of, through or inside the disease management area without state veterinary approval. No unprocessed animal products of cloven-hooved animals are allowed out of the disease management area without the necessary state veterinary permits.

"These movement controls will remain in place for the next few months, until the outbreak can be fully resolved. A full animal identification and traceability system is being put in place for all vaccinated animals in the previously free zone part of the disease management area.

"The submission to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Technical Committee for a containment zone is being prepared, though there are challenges beyond our control, we plan to still submit, albeit later than anticipated," the department said in a joint statement with livestock industry.

Opening countries for export

Meanwhile, trade has resumed for commodities considered safe by the OIE.

The department has successfully negotiated the revision of veterinary health certificates for beef to Bahrain, Lesotho, Mozambique, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, Swaziland, Seychelles, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates; and for game (venison produced before 5 December 2019) to Namibia.

Trade in pork from foot-and-mouth disease free pig compartments has also been re-opened to Lesotho, Seychelles, Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia (partially).

The department also reported that markets for dairy products have largely been restored, while the market for the export of wool to Egypt has been opened.

"The trade task team is working hard to open trade channels for the commodities that are still not trading freely, which mainly include wool, mohair, and hides (for leather production). Negotiations [that are] still underway include Namibia for beef, Botswana for pork, Egypt for hides, skin, and Malaysia for hides, skin and wool" the department said.

The department thanked all farmers, industries, and other government institutions working with Veterinary Services to resolve the current situation.

"More funding is still required to finally resolve the situation, and for implementation of a more sustainable FMD Control Strategy."

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