Botswana has notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and its trading partners of a suspected outbreak of foot and mouth disease in cattle. (File Picture: Viorel Sima

JOHANNESBURG - Botswana has notified the World Trade Organisation and its trading partners of a suspected outbreak of foot and mouth disease in cattle in its Ngamiland district.

Reuters reported that the southern African country had banned meat exports from the area although this wasn’t impacting sales to the European Union.

In a filing published by the World Trade Organisation, Botswana said officials found five animals with signs of the disease in Ngamiland in the north, an area bordering Namibia and Zimbabwe.

“As a result of these findings the slaughter and movement of all cloven hoofed animals and their fresh products within and out of the Sehithwa, Toteng, Bodibeng, Kareng and Semboyo extension areas are suspended until further notice,” Botswana’s Department of Veterinary Services said in a statement.

Vaccination of animals has also begun.

Foot and mouth is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease affecting hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, cattle, buffalo and pigs, although it is not a direct threat to humans.

- African News Agency (ANA)