To: Veterinarians and Para-Veterinarians
OUTBREAK OF FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE IN KWAZULU NATAL
An outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was confirmed on 27 May 2021 in cattle a communal grazing area in the Mtubatuba Local Municipality in Umkhanyakude District Municipality of KwaZulu-Natal. This outbreak occurred in the suspended FMD free zone.
Veterinary Services on the ground are collecting samples and doing clinical inspections in order to determine the extent of the disease. It is not yet clear how the disease was introduced into this area. Clinical signs, in particular typical mouth lesions, have been seen in a number of locations.
Private veterinarians are urged to be vigilant when conducting physical examinations on all domestic cloven-hoofed species and to report any FMD suspect lesions to the nearest state veterinarian, even without the display of a full spectrum of clinical signs. In addition, for industries where cattle converge, such as auctions, feedlots and abattoirs, colleagues are implored to increase the frequency of routine inspections of cloven-hoofed animals at such points.
When conducting routine activities on different farms or locations with cloven-hoofed species, veterinarians are reminded to exercise good biosecurity measures to prevent the inadvertent spread of disease from one farm to another. Proper adherence to biosecurity protocols/measures by veterinarians will also encourage farmers, their staff and farm visitors to adopt similar practices, thereby promoting the education on FMD mitigation measures.