The announcement that Eswatini (Swaziland) is now the third neighboring country to ban meat imports from South Africa, amidst a new confirmed case of foot and mouth disease in the Molemole district of Limpopo, predicts terrible news for the agriculture export industry, yet again.
Botswana and Zimbabwe have already banned meat imports from South Africa.
The industry is still struggling to get to its feet after the previous case of the disease was found in the Vhembe district in February this year. The following ban paralyses a considerable portion of the game and meat industry and caused the wool price to dip very low.
Even though the government announced the outbreak was under control in May, South Africa could not convince the World Organisation for Animal Health to reinstitute the country’s status as free of foot and mouth disease.
According to TLU SA’s information, the recent outbreak was picked up in a feeding pen after the particular animal was bought on auction. The department is still busy conducting tests to confirm the source.
“It is clear that the measures instituted to prevent foot and mouth disease are not enough and that it is not being enforced,” says Mr Louis Meintjes, the president of TLU SA. “The responsibility lies with the state, which is not doing its job for the umpteenth time, resulting in producers and the economy taking a knock.
“We are also calling on auctioneers to confirm the origin of stock and to ensure that the animals are healthy,” says Mr Meintjes. “Negligence or cessation in vigilance will lead to a great catastrophe.”
TLU SA would like to hear from producers who’ve had losses because of foot and mouth disease. Send information to [email protected].
Read the original article in Afrikaans on TLU SA
South Africa Today – South Africa News