Livestock communities not out of the FMD danger zone yet

Source: Bizcommunity, 4 October 2021, photo credit: Brahman

As recently announced by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the Foot-and-Mouth (FMD) disease-affected zone in KwaZulu-Natal has been reduced, however, South Africa is not yet out of the woods, given that the disease is still “very much in play”, says Roelie van Reenen, supply chain executive at Beefmaster Group. According to the government announcement, currently the FMD zone in KZN is confined to two clusters only, which means that the restriction on the movement of animals was sufficient to prevent the disease from spreading. “This announcement is thanks to the cooperation of players in the livestock communities who have strictly adhered to the protocols placed on them, which limited the movement of animals.”

“We are not out of the danger zone yet, given that there are major implications for all the longer the disease continues to linger,” says Van Reenen.

He added that it is of cardinal importance that everyone in the industry works together to get the disease under control.

“The only way we are going to do this is if we have movement restrictions in place, so the government is doing what it must to ensure it plays its part in curbing the outbreak. The rest is up to the industry. We must take the solution seriously; there can be no shortcuts in protecting our national herd,” he warns, adding that reducing the risk of infectious diseases must be a serious consideration at every point of the value chain.
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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.