The Technical Task team appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Foresty an Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana met on 16t January 2019 and shared information and advice.
The Technical Task Team, after agreeing on the terms of reference, agreed on the following:
- To limit the area being vaccinated to make the long term management of the disease easier provided this does not compromise the disease control efforts.
- To increase police visibility.
- To provide feed for the affected villages in order to limit the movements and interactions of animals at grazing sites.
Two sets of teams have started work in the area, the vaccination teams (17 teams) working in the possibly infected areas conducting inspections and vaccinations; and the inspection teams (4) working in the ‘clean’ area to determine the extent of the outbreak. 4 021 animals in 9 villages have been vaccinated so far.
To date, the disease has been confirmed in 2 villages. Following reports of clinical signs, 3 more villages are being followed up, samples have been submitted to the laboratory and the results are expected early next week.
Limpopo Department of Agriculture has provided feed to the affected animal owners. Letters have been sent to 20 of our trade partners and trade of especially processed products is starting to flow.
DAFF wishes to reiterate the movement restriction in the disease management area in Vhembe. No live cloven hooved animals are allowed to move into, within, through and out of the area. Law enforcement has been reinforced and any animals found to be moved around will be confiscated by the police and destroyed. This area has the following boundaries:
The R524 road from town of Makhado to Thohoyandou up to the Kruger National Park (KNP) fence.
The N1 Highway from Makhado to the point where the R36 road crosses the N1 Highway.
The R36 road from the N1 Highway to Mooketsi. Along the Mooketsi/Giyani Road (R81) from Mooketsi to where the road crosses the Little Letaba River. Along the Little Letaba River up to the fence of the KNP.
The KNP fence
DAFF further wishes to reassure consumers that the product on the shelves is safe for consumption. The reason trade is interrupted is because FMD is a highly trade sensitive disease which calls for trade partners to suspend trade with countries infected. DAFF is confident that this is a temporary setback, and is working with industries to motivate the resumption of trade in safe products.
It must be kept in mind that the loss of South Africa’s FMD free zone status was caused by only two animals, which has tested positively for the disease outside the free zone. The animals have been found just outside the controlled area in the northern part of Limpopo. These two animals have effectively ended South Africa’s FMD free zone status and there is no indication of the disease occurring in any other part of the country.
The control of FMD is critical between countries which are producers of livestock. FMD is an exclusively animal disease and it has no impact on human health.
If the process of containing the disease is successful, South Africa may be able to retrieve its FMD free zone status within a year. A prerequisite for success is the urgent and speedy implementation of the country’s traceability system.