Namibia, Botswana suspend's livestock import after Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak in SA

Jan 12, 2019

The Namibian ministry of agriculture announced all imports and movement of cloven hoofed animals have been suspended with immediate effect following a foot and mouth disease outbreak in South Africa.

In a notification issued Tuesday, acting chief veterinary officer Albertina Shilongo said the disease was detected on 7 January 2019 in the Limpopo province's Vhembe district of South Africa.

"The ministry would therefore like to inform importers and the general public of the immediate suspension of import and in transit movement of cloven hoofed animals and their products from South Africa," the notification read.

Cloven hoofed animals include cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, antelope, etc. Shilongo said the disease was very contagious with common clinical symptoms such as salivation, animals not grazing, limping, blisters, ulcers of the tongue, mouth, gums, udder and on animal feet.

All import and transit permits in place currently have been recalled until further notice, and importers have been urged to contact the veterinary import and export office on 061 303 150 or by email for further information.

Zimbabwe and Botswana has also taken similar action. 

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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