Foot and mouth disease outbreak

Photo: North Dakota State Government

The media release of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries regarding the positive diagnosis of Foot and Mouth disease in cattle in the Vhembe District of the Limpopo Province has led to the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) to temporarily suspended the FMD–free status of South Africa, consequently resulting in any exports where an FMD free zone attestation is required, not being able to be certified. The outbreak is however very isolated and in an area where no wool is produced.

Measures are in place to ensure that wool may still be exported to the industry’s most important trade partners.

NWGA is working closely with Cape Wools SA and other industry partners, including Mohair SA and the National Animal Health Forum (NAHF), to find workable solutions in order to ensure that wool exports continue.

A special meeting of the NAHF is scheduled for 13 January 2019 in Pretoria to formulate a strategy on the way forward, which is to be tabled with the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, as well as the Director of Animal Health at a meeting scheduled for 14 January 2019 also in Pretoria.

The NWGA and Cape Wools SA will advise the SA Government through DAFF to negotiate a workable solution with our trading partners in order to ensure continued wool exports. This includes the option to allow for the certification that wool destined for export, originates from an area where the disease does not exist. Limpopo is not an important wool producing province and a secure traceability system for wool in SA will strongly support the certification of the origin of wool. This was a very workable procedure during the 2011 FMD outbreak in KZN and wool exports continued under these conditions.

The NWGA would like to caution wool sheep- and livestock producers to be extremely vigilant regarding animal movement, purchase of livestock and sound biosecurity practices.

Please contact Mr. Leon de Beer at (041)-365-5030 or 082-890-6625 for further enquiries.

Source: NWGA of SA

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