File photo: Reuters.

Molemole - A case of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) had been detected in a herd of cattle on a farm in the Molemole district in Limpopo, the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development said on Wednesday.

"On November 1, veterinary services were alerted to clinical signs suspicious for FMD in a herd of cattle on a farm in the Molemole district of Limpopo province. This farm is located in the previous FMD free zone of South Africa. Samples were collected and FMD was confirmed on November 1 by the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Transboundary Animal Disease Programme," said spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo.

"Further identification of the strain is in process to determine the likely origin of the virus. The affected farm was placed under quarantine. Clinical examination of animals on the farm is being conducted to determine the prevalence of the disease."

Ngcobo said measures had been implemented to prevent direct or indirect contact between the farm animals. 

"Backward and forward tracing is in process to determine the possible origin of the virus, as well as locations to which the disease might have spread," he said.

FMD is a highly contagious viral disease that affects cattle, domestic and wild pigs, sheep, goats, and other cloven hoofed animals. Signs of the disease may include depressed animals, mouth sores accompanied by a reluctance to eat, and lameness. The disease does not affect human beings.  

"Farmers in the whole country are cautioned to observe bio-security measures – not to allow any new animals into their herds, and to minimize the movement of their own herds to other farms. Any suspected case of the disease in animals must be reported to the local state veterinarian immediately," said Ngcobo.

African News Agency(ANA)