Livestock auctions suspended due to outbreak of foot and mouth disease
JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development announced that livestock auctions in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and North West are suspended until further notice, after the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the Molemole district of Limpopo.
TLU SA said they were shocked by the announcement.
Henk van de Graaf, the regional chairman of TLU SA North, said in a statement, "This is a tough blow to the livestock and game farmers in the country, who have already been brought to their knees by the disastrous drought. The selling of livestock was the only existing solution for farmers who don’t have feed for their animals anymore. Now, this avenue is also closed off."
TLU SA realises that serious action is needed to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease, but is not convinced that the banning of auctions is the solution. The government should rather ensure the original preventative measures are strictly followed and implemented.
“The ban on auctions also holds serious consequences for the consumer, especially with the festive season around the corner,” says Mr van de Graaf. “Consumers should prepare themselves for a drastic increase in the price of meat and meat products. Meat will also become very scarce.”
TLU SA will create a database of buyers and sellers of meat which will give farmers the opportunity to sell their foot and mouth disease-free meat. TLU SA is also looking into direct internet sales of healthy and disease-free animals to support farmers.
Meanwhile, hoofed animals from South Africa are now banned from entering Mozambique following a decision from the latter’s ministry of agriculture after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the animals, including, cattle, goats, sheep and pigs in Limpopo Province.
Mozambique government spokesperson, and the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ana Comoana, announced the recent ban to reporters after the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), Mozambique Club reported.
In addition to the ban, other precautionary measures will include stepped up livestock inspection measures, particularly in areas near the South African border.
Maputo’s move follows similar bans from Zimbabwe, which last Friday banned the import of South African beef, pork and meat from other hoofed animals. The foot-and-mouth virus is highly contagious in hoofed animals causing high mortality rates among young animals, and can survive even after the animal is dead.
Any buyers and sellers of meat, as well as any farmers who have suffered losses as a result of foot and mouth disease, must contact TLU SA urgently by calling Wilma Prinsloo on 082 555 4553.
- African News Agency (ANA) / BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE