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FMD: Beware of fake news

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Media Statement 07 January 2020

JOINT STATEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE FMD TECHNICAL TASK TEAM ON THE FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE OUTBREAK LIMPOPO

A message has been distributed widely on social media stating that the Vhembe District of Limpopo has been cleared of Foot and mouth disease. This is fake news and this message should not be shared or distributed any further.

Trace back and forward investigations from farms that were proved to be FMD positive are still ongoing. These identified locations remain under precautionary quarantine until diagnostic testing is completed and the status of these farms have been confirmed as negative for FMD. This phase has not been completed yet.

The prohibition on the gathering of cloven hoofed animals from two or more properties, for distribution to two or more properties, as published in the Government Gazette on 4 December 2019 and applicable to the whole country, is still in place. This notice does not prohibit the movement of livestock from farm to farm, or private auctions of individual farms. The gazetted notice is available on the DAFF website.

A review of the situation will only be considered, once all the involved properties are tested and the investigation of the outbreak has been completed in order to confidently exclude any further FMD virus circulation.

The Department still encourages animal owners to apply the following basic measures to prevent their animals from being infected:

• Not moving high risk animals;

• Only buying animals from a proven source;• Insisting on a veterinary health declaration to accompany any animals that are brought in.

Any suspected cases of FMD should please be reported to the nearest State Veterinary Office or the nearest veterinarian for further investigation. Owners who have bought from known infected properties are also encouraged to report this to the Provincial Veterinary Authorities for speedy follow up investigations

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