Progress in foot and mouth prevention - minister

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Johannesburg - South Africa has made significant progress in maintaining the country's Foot and Mouth Disease-free status, Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said on Monday.

"The Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases concluded that South Africa has made commendable progress to comply with the relevant requirements of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code for the maintenance of its FMD-free status," Zokwana said in a speech prepared for delivery in Pretoria.

The department and government departments in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal had made progress on the implementation plan for "operation compliance", drawn up in December 2014.

This included the repair and maintenance of the fence on the South Africa-Zimbabwe border; a plan to deal with the handling of carcasses in abattoirs that came from protection zones; and the distribution of 300 000 doses of FMD vaccine.

Surveillance plans and movement control areas had been established. Meetings held in the affected provinces in January raised awareness of FMD and identified issues still to be addressed.

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