Zimbabwe bans importation of cloven livestock from South Africa over viral disease outbreak

ZIMBABWE – The government of Zimbabwe has suspended importation of live cloven-hoofed animals and related products from South Africa following a notification by the South African Veterinary Authorities of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) on a farm in Molemole District of Limpopo Province on November 1 2019.

In a statement the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Department of Veterinary Services of Zimbabwe advised the public and stakeholders of the ban of the importation of live cattle, goats, sheep and pigs from South Africa.

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DVS director, Dr Josphat Nyika said South Africa is currently in the process of identifying the virus strain, extent of the outbreak and conducting backward and forward tracing to determine possible origin of the virus as well as locations to which the disease might have spread.

” In line with provisions of the Animal Health Act, CAP 19:01, the Department of Veterinary Services has suspended the importation of live cloven-hoofed animals (cattle, goats, sheep and pigs) and their products from South Africa with immediate effect until a full report on the outbreak has been availed by the South African Veterinary Authorities.” He said.

“The suspension of imports from South Africa is a precautionary measure designed to prevent spread of infection into Zimbabwe through the importation of live animals and animal products.

“The Department continues to monitor the situation with a view to normalizing trade with the Republic of South Africa as soon as the outbreak is controlled, ” he added.

This is the second time this year an outbreak of foot and mouth in the north of South Africa has been reported.

In January, Zimbabwe joined Botswana and the Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly Swaziland, in suspending meat imports from South Africa following the outbreak of the disease.

Foot‑and‑mouth disease (FMD), of which FMD virus (FMDV) is the causative agent, is a contagious viral disease that affects cloven‑hoofed animals but does not affect humans.

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It ranks as one of the most economically important infectious diseases of animals according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Zimbabwe imports livestock from South Africa for breeding as well as meat products.

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