Media statement-Progress on Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak in Molemole District 2020-01-14


After a recent meeting held through the FMD Technical Task Team decision was, as in the previous outbreak, to keep the public updated on the progress made during the outbreak. See here the recent media release:

See here the Basic Biosecurity Guidelines for FMD:

FMD-Basic Biosecurity Guidelines 2019-11-26 (Ver 4)

Media Statement

14 January 2020

UPDATE ON THE FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE OUTBREAK IN LIMPOPO

Four further cases of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) were reported since mid-December 2019, with 3 cases reported in December and 1 case reported in the first week of January 2020.  The total number of confirmed positive locations since the start of outbreak has risen to fifteen (15).

More than 130 points were identified with possible links to specific auctions and known affected properties. Follow-up investigations and collection of samples were already performed on 95 of these points and precautionary quarantine has been lifted on 44 properties that have been proven negative for FMD.

All properties where the disease has been confirmed have been placed under quarantine and cloven hoofed animals are not allowed to move off the quarantined properties. Guidelines and application procedures have been finalized for animals on FMD quarantined properties to undergo early slaughter at designated abattoirs with specific conditions to prevent the spread of FMD.  FMD does not affect people therefore meat and milk from infected livestock is safe for human consumption

The Department, together with the Provincial Veterinary Services, started conducting awareness on FMD clinical signs and biosecurity measures in Limpopo Province during the week of 4th December. Awareness was already conducted in 6 villages in the Molemole area and 315 farmers attended these sessions.

The use of FMD vaccine has not been indicated in controlling the current outbreak. The vaccination of cattle against FMD is conducted only by state veterinary officials in specific areas determined by the Director Animal Health, free of charge. FMD vaccine is a controlled product that may only be handled by Veterinary Service, the general public is urged to immediately notify state veterinary officials should there be a suspicion of someone having, or claiming to have or sell FMD vaccine.

The prohibition on the gathering of cloven hoofed animals from two or more properties, for distribution to two or more properties, has been published in the Government Gazette on 4 December 2019 and is applicable to the whole country.

This resulted after the Veterinary Authorities identified that the short-term congregation and redistribution of cloven hoofed animals played an integral part in the spread of the disease in this outbreak as all the affected properties have been linked directly or indirectly to auctions. This notice does not prohibit the movement of livestock from farm to farm, or private auctions at individual farms.  The gazetted notice is available on the DAFF website

https://www.daff.gov.za/daffweb3/Home/Foot-and-mouth.

In order to bring normality to the trade of livestock, the Department and the FMD Technical Task Team urge all auctioneers to register with the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC).  This is a legal requirement and auctioneers must comply with the conditions laid down in the Agricultural Produce Agents Act, 1992 (Act 12 of 1992). Additional biosecurity measures to be applied by registered auctioneers are under discussions and will be communicated as soon as finalised.

The Department encourages livestock owners to limit the movement of cloven hoofed animals until the extent of the outbreak has been fully determined.   If movements are necessary, the buyers are advised to request health declarations before any animals are bought from sellers, to prevent the possible infection of new properties by positive animals being brought in. Private vets are asked to assist their clients by providing health declarations that indicate that the herd of origin has been inspected and found to be free of clinical signs of FMD and that all animals have been on the farm for at least 28 days before inspection. This will provide additional guarantees that FMD infected animals could not have been introduced onto the farm in that period.

Livestock owners should remain vigilant for clinical signs of FMD in their animals.  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.

Reggie Ngcobo

Media Liaison Officer

Mobile: 082 883 2458

Dr Botlhe Modisane

Technical spokesperson on FMD

Mobile: 063 693 0330

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 https://www.daff.gov.za/daffweb3/Home/Foot-and-mouth.
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.

Reggie Ngcobo
Media Liaison Officer
Mobile: 082 883 2458
Dr Botlhe Modisane
Technical spokesperson on FMD
Mobile: 063 693 0330

Media Statement

4 December 2019

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

Progress has been reported consistently over the past four weeks since the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Molemole. To date, 11 commercial properties have been found to be infected and confirmed positive: Seven in Capricorn, two in Vhembe and two in Mopani district municipalities. There are an estimated 14 000 cattle on the infected properties, which include five feedlots and six commercial breeding farms. All affected properties have been linked directly or indirectly to cattle sold at auctions. Further follow-up investigation and sampling is still being conducted to determine the extent of the outbreak.

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development gazetted a national ban on the gathering of cloven-hoofed animals, including livestock auctions, shows and similar activities.  The gazette is available on the DAFF website https://www.daff.gov.za/daffweb3/Home/Foot-and-mouth

According to Section 11 of the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No. 35) it is the responsibility of “any owner or manager of land on which there are animals to take all reasonable steps to prevent the infection of the animals with any animal disease, or parasite and the spreading thereof from the relevant land or animals”.

Anyone spreading FMD through the movement of animals may, therefore, be held civilly and or criminally liable for such an offence.

All suspected and infected properties have been placed under quarantine and no livestock is allowed to move in, through or out of the affected properties. Immediate neighbouring properties have also been placed under quarantine. Quarantine on the suspected and neighbouring properties will be lifted as soon as it has been proven that all animals on these properties are free of FMD. The owners of infected properties have been given slaughter out options to facilitate depopulation.

As per the press release of 19 November 2019, all owners of livestock are encouraged to observe strict biosecurity measures on their premises. The biosecurity guidelines are available on the National Animal Health Forum website www.nahf.co.za.

It is important that all livestock owners familiarise themselves with the following measures to prevent their animals from being infected:

  • Not moving high risk animals;
  • Only buying animals from a proven source;
  • Insisting on a veterinary attestation/health declaration to accompany any animals that are brought in.

Adherence to the above measures will assist government and farmers to resolve the situation. It is vital that all stakeholders act reasonably, responsibly and according to the law at all times.

For further information contact:

Reggie Ngcobo

Media Liaison Officer

Mobile: 082 883 2458

Dr Botlhe Modisane

Technical spokesperson on FMD

Mobile: 063 693 0330

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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE NATIONAL ANIMAL HEALTH FORUM ON FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE UPDATE

Media statement-Progress on Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak in Molemole District