FMD: The battle is over, but the war continues

28 May 2019

 South Africa experienced a FMD outbreak in the high surveillance area of the FMD free zone in Limpopo on 7 January 2019 and, as a result, lost its World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recognised FMD free zone without vaccination status.

End of outbreak

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has declared the end of the outbreak, as there has not been any new cases of FMD detected in the declared disease management area since February, and more than three incubation periods has lapsed with no new cases being observed. Intensive surveillance has demonstrated that the virus is no longer circulating. However, control measures remain in place in the area. The farming community and public are urged to remain vigilant.

Ministerial affirmation visit to Vhembe district

During April, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Senzeni Zokwana let a high profile delegation to the affected communities in Limpopo to express their  heartfelt appreciation to the farmers and all other parties that worked with the DAFF to contain the outbreak and resolve the situation.

Containment zone application

The DAFF successfully prepared and submitted a dossier to the OIE applying for a Containment Zone. This application does not form part of the normal OIE processes for zoning and thus will not be considered by a formal sitting of the OIE Scientific Commission but will rather be considered through and electronic round robin process. The DAFF is hopeful for a positive outcome of its application in the near future.

China lifts ban on wool

The Department has successfully negotiated market access for safe commodities to most of the trading countries. The most recent success was China lifting their ban on wool imports from South Africa. Negotiations are still under way for beef exports to China, and the DAFF is in the process of confirming dates for the next inspection visit by the Chinese veterinary authority.

We should not rest but remain vigilant and continuously seek to improve biosecurity procedures and measures to protect our animals and our people against the spreading of disease.

The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.