South Africa could face a beef shortage in December due to a 21-day ban on cattle transport. But industry experts agree the drastic measure was necessary - although probably avoidable, if government took action earlier.
The ban, which was gazetted on Thursday, is aimed at curbing the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), among the world's most infectious animal illnesses. The country is currently experiencing 116 incidents involving farms, feedlots and communal areas in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Free State.
Veterinary-certified cattle can still be moved from farms to abattoirs, but no stopping is allowed en route. Cattle may be slaughtered for own use or cultural or religious purposes, if done on the same premises where the cattle are kept prior to slaughter.