Sunday

July 21, 2024

UPDATE ON FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE IN THE EASTERN CAPE

16 May 2024 - MEDIA RELEASE

Agri Eastern Cape (Agri EC) and the EC Red Meat Producers Organization (EC RPO) had several meetings with relevant role players on the 14th and 15th of May 2024, to receive an update and get an understanding of the status of the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (hereafter “FMD”) outbreak in the Eastern Cape.

Currently, two adjoining properties just outside Humansdorp and an associated farm in the Zuurveld area (which are being handled as one farming unit), have confirmed positive cases. These farms have been placed under quarantine and all animals have been vaccinated.

Agri EC has further been informed of blood samples taken on Tuesday (14.05.2024) from a further case in a beef herd (28km away from the initially identified properties) have been confirmed as positive. Currently, no direct link has been identified between the original farms and this newly confirmed farm.

The source of the identified SAT3 Virus is yet to be determined, and with this new case,  until the source has been identified, a strong possibility exists that this virus could be circulating elsewhere within the Province.

Veterinary officials in consultation with Industry role-players have developed animal movement protocols to limit the spread of this virus. Agri EC has further offered the use of its Coordination Centre to assist DRDAR officials with communication and the processing of these permits.

Apparently, these protocols cannot be implemented until Dr Mpho Maja, the Director of Animal Health within DALRRD grants consent. DALRRD have been aware of the initial outbreak since the beginning of the month and were informed yesterday about the further positive unrelated case.

Apparently, Dr Maja wants to first visit the Province, sometime next week before she takes a decision.

Agri EC and the EC RPO, find it incomprehensible that given the devastating economic impact of the spread of FMD, that our national department, charged with controlling such diseases is dragging its feet.

Currently there are no directives in place to limit movement other than on the positively identified and surveillance farms. This is irresponsible and DALRRD is failing the red meat industry. Minister Didiza and her officials will have to answer, if this delay in implementing movement restrictions is later found to have contributed to the spread of the virus out of the Kouga local municipality area.

For any further information please contact, ceo@agriec.co.za, or ecrpo@rpo.co.za

Brent McNamara

CEO – Agri Eastern Cape/EC Red Meat Producers Organization