Kruger Park buffalo blamed for Limpopo foot and mouth outbreak

2015-12-15 14:33
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Polokwane - Buffalo from the Kruger National Park are believed to be responsible for an outbreak of foot and mouth disease amongst cattle in Limpopo.

National agriculture spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo assured, however, that the infection was contained within the protection zone, where vaccinations were routinely conducted, and that it would not affect exports.

"We would like to urge the farming community in the affected area to work closely with our provincial veterinary officials and no cattle should be move out of this area," he said.

State vets detected the outbreak in the Matiane community in the Vhembe area near the Kruger National Park on December 8.

On December 10, laboratory tests confirmed the outbreak and identified the specific strain of the virus as being SAT 3.

"The current drought situation has increased possible contact between cattle and buffaloes due to limited grazing and water sources," Molapo explained.

Surveillance in the affected area had been increased and control measures implemented.

Control measures included the quarantine of affected cattle, managing the movement of cloven-hoofed animals in the surrounding areas, and vaccinating the animals.

Foot and mouth disease spreads easily among cloven-hoofed animals and can lead to lameness and even death.

People can be infected with the disease through skin wounds, or the mucous membranes in the mouth, handling diseased stock, handling the virus in the laboratory, or by drinking infected milk, but not by eating meat from infected animals. 

The disease is not fatal in humans. 

Read more on:    polokwane  |  farming  |  animals

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