South Africa: North West Agriculture and Rural Development On Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease
Following a media statement released by Minister Thoko Didiza confirming the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in the province, the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development hereby further confirms that this outbreak has affected farms in JB Marks Local Municipality. The affected farms have been placed under quarantine.
The conditions of the quarantine are that there will be no movement of animals into, through, and from the affected farms. The objective of the quarantine is to curb and prevent the spread of the disease through the movement of infected animals to areas that are not infected.
Foot and Mouth Disease is a viral disease that causes blisters and sores in the hooves, mouth, and dental pad of cloven-hoofed animals. It is not contagious to humans.
Vaccination for Foot and Mouth Disease in South Africa is strictly regulated by the government. Only with approval from the Director of Animal Health, the use of vaccines without authorization can result in vaccinated animals testing positive and being classified as infected resulting in further measures being imposed on the farm.
All vaccines that are used for this purpose need to be registered and authorized for such purpose and as such, they are only in the hands of government officials. In the North West, vaccination of cattle and pigs against Foot and Mouth Disease is not permitted and is therefore illegal. The sale of such vaccines is also illegal.
The Department is warning farmers againstacceptingthe sale or FMD vaccine of their animals as that would result in their animals being incorrectly diagnosed as positive whilst they are not. Farmers are advised to inform any local State Veterinary office should they be approached with a sale of Foot and Mouth vaccines that are not registered.
All farmers, livestock owners, members of industry and are urged to use caution when sourcing cattle, ensure that you know the health of the animals you are investing in and where possible, seeka health attestation from the seller’s veterinarian confirming the health status of the animals you are buying.
Should any suspicious clinical symptoms (salivation, blisters in the mouth, limping, or hoof lesions) beseen, they should be reported to the local State Veterinarian immediately and such animals must not bemoved under any circumstances.
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