Following the detection of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) among a herd of cattle on a farm in Molemole district on Friday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo was expected to write to Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Nandi Ndalane today (Thursday) to request that urgent action be taken in the matter.
A statement issued by the party indicated that the district was out of the FMD zone hence intervention must include expansion of the FMD zone in the area to restrict movement of hoofed animals, law enforcement to implement the restrictions and to confiscate and destroy animals which are transported outside the area and vaccination teams to be deployed to vaccinate animals and inspect surrounding farms to determine the extent of the outbreak.
The DA went on to allege that it was clear from the outbreak outside the so-called red zone that the department had relaxed some of its measures which resulted in infected cattle coming into the FMD-free zones. This, according to the statement, was of great concern and it was now imperative that control measures in the red zone immediately be tightened and that inspections conducted on all cloven hoofed animals that leave this zone..
When contacted for comment, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Spokesperson Joshua Kwapa furnished Polokwane Observer with a statement issued by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The statement confirmed that on Friday its veterinary services were alerted to clinical signs suspicious for FMD in a herd of cattle on a farm in the Molemole district. Departmental media liaison officer Reggie Ngcobo highlighted that the farm was located in the previously FMD free zone of South Africa. Samples had been collected and FMD was confirmed on the day by the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Transboundary Animal Disease Programme, Ngcobo explained.
He reiterated that further identification of the strain was in process to determine the likely origin of the virus. The affected farm was placed under quarantine, he stated and added that clinical examination of animals on the farm was being conducted to determine the prevalence of the disease on the affected farm. Ngcobo went on to emphasise that measures had been implemented to prevent direct or indirect contact between the different groups of animals on the farm. Backward and forward tracing was in process to determine the possible origin of the virus as well as locations to which the disease might have spread, he concluded.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI