THE Vhembe District in Limpopo has been hit by the Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) after positive laboratory results.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF spokesperson Khaya Nkwanyana said samples were collected during a disease investigation, after reports of cattle with lameness were received.
The positive location is just outside the FMD Control Zone in the Free Zone without vaccination.
Nkwanyana said a team of experts from the department and the Limpopo Veterinary Services is on the ground conducting further investigations to verify the results and determine the extent of the outbreak.
The control measures will be determined by the findings of this investigation.
“The matter has been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on Monday.
As a result of this development, the official OIE recognised FMD-free status of South Africa is temporarily suspended.
Consequently, any exports where FMD free zone attestation is required, cannot be certified,” Nkwanyana said.
He said FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease which affects livestock with significant economic impact.
The disease affects cattle, pigs (domestic and wild), sheep, goats, and other cloven hoofed animals.
He also said the disease does not affect human beings.
“The affected area is under quarantine and no movement of animals and animal products are allowed.
Farmers further away from the outbreak are cautioned to observe bio-security measures – not to allow any new animals into their herds, and to minimise the movement of their own herds to other farms,” he said.