The FF Plus welcomes the announcement made by the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform, Thoko Didiza, that the ban on livestock auctions has been lifted. The ban on auctions was implemented after the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Limpopo.
The FF Plus is also pleased that the Minister announced measures that will be implemented to monitor the situation and prevent future outbreaks.
Since the announcement was made that there had been an outbreak of the disease in 2019, the FF Plus insisted that the Department must identify regions within the provinces that are fit for auctions to take place so as to ensure that the farmers and related economies of these provinces are not adversely affected.
South Africa’s agricultural sector is already heavily burdened with the uncertainty of land expropriation without compensation, the severe drought that has affected the sector for years and now most recently, the ban on auctions due to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
The ban on auctions lead to a serious economic loss for the agricultural sector, which is estimated to amount to more than R10 billion. It is a staggering loss seeing as the livestock auction industry’s turnover amounts to approximately R81 billion annually – according to a media report.
The Department still has a serious shortage of veterinarians. The FF Plus demands that the Department must appoint more veterinarians and improve their system as soon as possible to nip any future outbreaks in the bud. The Department must make sure that the country’s red zones and borders are secured to prevent healthy animals from coming into contact and being infected by sick animals.
The Department cannot announce measures and then implement them selectively. The FF Plus will hold the Department accountable to ensure that these measures are adhered to on all levels and in all forms (commercial and subsistence) of agriculture.
It is imperative for the Department to take precautionary measures and act proactively when it comes to diseases, like foot-and-mouth disease, and not reactively as in this case.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on FF Plus
South Africa Today – South Africa News