On 7 January the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) reported and confirmed an outbreak of FMD in Limpopo. Subsequently, South Africa lost its World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recognised FMD-free without vaccination status.
Since the last positive case was reported on 4 February there have been no new clinical cases of FMD or serologically positive test results in the epidemiological groups surveyed. Roughly 13,500 cattle across 27 diptanks have been vaccinated, and identified as vaccinated, in the former FMD-free area since 14 January.
Valuable information has been gathered from more than 400 local livestock owners, in 16 rural villages, interviewed during February. The department is assessing the information to strategise a way forward so that South Africa can regain its international FMD-free status. Revised measures and practices, taking timelines and available resources into account, will now be considered.
The department appreciates the technical advice it has received from world-renowned experts, and the practical guidance it has had from the private sector, which will inform the action plans.
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