Role players in the red meat industry have expressed deep concern that the temporary suspension of South Africa’s foot-and-mouth disease-free (FMD) status could result in lost income amounting to billions of rand, while also disrupting domestic trade.
This follows a case of the disease being confirmed in South Africa’s FMD-free zone this week.
Chairperson of the Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO), Koos van der Ryst, said at this stage not much information was available, but said it could have a “phenomenally negative” impact on the red meat industry in this country.
“The immediate effect on the red meat industry could be that exports will be suspended,” he said.
While the exporting of red meat had not yet been banned, the reality was that officials would not be able to provide the necessary certification in terms of South Africa’s FMD-free status as required by specific trading partners.
Director of animal health at DAFF, Dr Mpho Maja, requested all livestock owners in the Vhembe and Mopani districts to monitor all cattle, sheep, goats and pigs for any signs of the disease. These would include limping animals, those struggling to eat or swallow, or animals exhibiting excessive salivation. “Please, [urgently] report it to your nearest state vet,” she said.
Read the full article here: Farmer’s Weekly