Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Unrest in KZN affected probe into foot-and-mouth disease outbreak – Didiza

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Aug 10, 2021

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Pretoria – Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza says the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, with the rampant blockage of roads and redirection of security resources into communities, has caused some delays in the probe around the foot-and-mouth disease in the province.

“However, the movement control protocol and movement permit system remained in place.

’’During the said unrest period, a number of fines were issued for illegal movement of animals, which demonstrates that despite the difficult situation, both veterinary services and police were able to perform their duties effectively,” said Didiza.

“Visible veterinary patrols and roadblocks are in place in the DMA (disease management area) to control the movement of livestock and to monitor adherence to the movement protocol. Fines are issued for consignments which move without the necessary permission.

The national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development says at least 22 foot-and-mouth disease positive locations in KwaZulu-Natal have been identified and placed under quarantine.

“These locations comprise two clusters of dip tanks in communal grazing land as well as two commercial feed lots.

’’Provision has been made to allow the early slaughter of animals from the affected feed lots, with strict additional risk mitigation measures to effectively mitigate the risk of spreading FMD virus,” said Didiza.

She said such applications for early slaughter of animals affected by the outbreak are evaluated and permitted on an individual basis.

“A movement protocol and permit system for movement of cloven-hoofed animals is in place in the disease management area (DMA) to contain the disease and prevent further spread.

’’The movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their products into, out of, through or within the DMA is only allowed on authority of a permit issued by the veterinary services of the area,” said Didiza.

“The movement protocol can be obtained from KZN Veterinary Services. Version 1 of this protocol was finalized in June 2021 and will be amended if required, as the status of the outbreaks becomes clearer.”

Didiza said applications submitted to move cloven-hoofed livestock into, through and within the disease management area are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by veterinary officials and site visits are conducted as part of risk mitigation processes.

“So far, 165 permits have been granted for movement of animals into the DMA for direct slaughter.

’’Permits have also been granted for movement of pigs from approved high biosecurity pig compartments out of the DMA for slaughter purposes,” she said.

A protocol has been approved to harvest game meat for commercial purposes from specific pre-approved farms and through approved game abattoirs.

The minister said other requests for movement have been received and are being considered.

“Livestock owners are encouraged to submit all applications for movement to the provincial veterinary movement control officers for evaluation and risk assessment. Applications and queries can be submitted to [email protected],” said Didiza.

On June 30, Didiza declared the KwaZulu-Natal a disease management area (KZN DMA) in a gazette which includes the district municipalities of King Cetshwayo, Umkhanyakude and Zululand.

A movement protocol and permit system for movement of cloven-hoofed animals was put in place in the disease management area to contain the disease and prevent further spread.

The movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their products into, out of, through, or within the DMA is only allowed on authority of a permit issued by the veterinary services of the area.

African News Agency (ANA)

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