Health

Foot and mouth disease identified at 22 KwaZulu-Natal sites

More than 20 sites have been quarantined following a foot and mouth disease outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal.


More than 20 sites have been quarantined following a foot and mouth disease outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal.

  • 22 sites have been placed under quarantine for foot and mouth disease.
  • The outbreak has affected farms in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • The recent unrest in the province caused delays in the investigation into the outbreak.

More than 20 sites have been quarantined following a foot and mouth disease outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal.

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza said on Monday that the disease had been identified at 22 sites in the province.

“These locations comprise two clusters of dip tanks in communal grazing land as well as two commercial feedlots. Provision has been made to allow the early slaughter of animals from the affected feedlots, with strict additional risk mitigation measures to effectively mitigate the risk of spreading the virus,” Didiza said.

A movement protocol and permit system for the movement of cloven-hoofed animals is in place in the diseases management area to contain the disease and prevent further spread.

READ | Temporary ‘standstill’ of cloven-hoofed animals ordered after Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreak in KZN

Movement into and out of this area can only take place with a permit.

Recent unrest in the province, with associated blockage of roads and redirection of security resources to communities, had caused some delays in the disease investigation processes in the province, the department said.

“However, the movement control protocol and movement permit system remained in place. During the said unrest period, a number of fines were issued for illegal movement of animals, which demonstrates that, despite the difficult situation, both Veterinary Services and police were able to perform their duties effectively,” said Didiza

To date, 435 locations had been inspected and sampled to test for foot and mouth disease since the virus was detected.

“The first round of sampling and surveillance in the affected area has been completed. The second follow-up round of surveillance and testing is currently under way and the results will confirm whether the outbreak was contained successfully,” Didiza said.

The minister added that the outcome would also inform future decisions on whether and where to deploy the foot and mouth disease vaccine to assist with the control measures as well as whether the size of the controlled area could be decreased.

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