Rustenburg - At least 65 farms have inspected following the recent foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Potchefstroom, the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said on Thursday.
“On all these farms a total of 1463 cattle, 100 sheep, and 19380 pigs were inspected. This week alone, two of the farms were issued with Precautionary Quarantine Notices,” said Dr Langa Madyibi, director of veterinary service in the North West.
He said inspection operations would continue during the Easter weekend.
“Strict attention is paid to biosecurity when moving from farm to farm as technicians are required to disinfect when moving around the farms.”
He said this was to curb any possible spread of the disease to other farms.
Madyibi said inspection and blood sampling of farms in the neighbouring 10km radius from the farm where the first outbreak was determined were continuing, to determine if there were any farms that may be latently infected.
“Afterwards, a period of two incubation period is going to be allowed to pass before another round of sampling takes place. That will help to determine the clinical endpoint of the disease and begin our day 0 counting for determination of lifting of quarantines,” Madyibi said.
Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Desbo Mohono called for calm among the livestock farmers in the province.
“The department has assembled a dedicated team to ensure that all precautionary measures are undertaken to prevent the further spread of the disease.
“We urge farmers to be on the lookout for clinical signs that resemble the disease and report them immediately to the nearest state veterinary office,” Mohono said.
Farmers, livestock owners and members of the industry are urged to use caution when sourcing cattle, ensure that they know the health of the animals they are investing in and where possible, seek a health attestation from the seller’s veterinarian confirming the health status of the animals they are buying.
Should any suspicious clinical symptoms (salivation, blisters in the mouth, limping, or hoof lesions) be seen, they should be immediately reported to the local state veterinarian and such animals must not be moved under any circumstances.