Deal with foot-and-mouth outbreak

2013-07-24 20:15

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Johannesburg - Immediate action is needed to deal with a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Phalaborwa, Limpopo, the DA said on Wednesday.

"The outbreak... requires immediate action to prevent any further damage caused by the 2011 ban on South African beef exports," Democratic Alliance MP Annette Steyn said.

Steyn said in order for South African beef to be approved for trade by the EU, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson would have to immediately restore confidence.

She needed to show the world that the outbreak would not result in a situation similar to the 2011 foot-and-mouth epidemic.

During that year, it resulted in a loss of R4bn to South Africa’s economy and affected jobs in the industry.

"While the outbreak is in a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) protection zone, the minister must take the necessary steps to ensure all control measures are in place to prevent the spread of the disease to other parts of the country," she said.

The department on Tuesday sought to assure the industry that the outbreak would not affect trade.

"The outbreak occurred within South Africa’s FMD protection zone, and therefore has no effect on South Africa’s export activities," it said in a statement.

The department said the Limpopo Provincial Veterinary Services was investigating. It was also expected to apply control measures such as quarantine of the affected cattle. Animals in surrounding areas would be vaccinated.

Read more on:    tina joemat-pettersson  |  polokwane  |  animals  |  agriculture  |  health

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