Foot-and-mouth strain linked to Kruger buffalo

2011-05-12 00:00

THE strain of foot-and-mouth virus that has caused a ban on movement of live animals from the north of KwaZulu-Natal, is now linked to a virus that was originally discovered about eight years ago in a herd of buffalo near Letaba in the Kruger Park.

It is also linked to other viruses found in the north of the Kruger Park and is, according to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department, evidence that the virus did not originate outside SA, as was initially suspected.

The research was done by Veterinary Services at the Agricultural Research Council at Onderstepoort, north of Pretoria.

The department said the virus is now under control and that 93 000 head of cattle have been inoculated to date. A second round of inoculations has already started.

After the virus was discovered, agricultural experts said that they suspect the strain was imported to this province by buffalo that penetrated the poor fences between the Kruger Park and Mozambique and then moved to northern KwaZulu-Natal.

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