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Farmers Urged To Vaccinate Animals

31 May 2019

The Mercury

LISA ISAACS lisa.isaacs@inl.co.za

South African farmers have been requested to urgently vaccinate their animals, including cattle, sheep and goats, against anthrax.

This comes after an outbreak was confirmed near Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. The Veterinary Authority of Lesotho has reported three anthrax outbreaks to the World Organisation for Animal Health. The first outbreak was recorded on May 12, and a total of 24 cattle were reported dead.

Under no circumstances should venison of infected game be consumed, the National Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO) warned.

According to the RPO, in this case, humans were also infected with the disease after the carcasses were cut open and eaten. The areas affected include Ladybrand in the Maseru-zone, Zastron, Wepener, Maputsoe, ButhaButhe and Thabo Mofutsanyane.

A 10km-radius has been quarantined and farmers from Ha-Tseka were warned not to take their products to a Maseru trade fair. Animal movement between the Free State and Lesotho will be restricted and no trade will be allowed, RPO said.

“Farmers must also be very cautious when buying new animals and ensure the animals are disease-free. The movement of animals must as far as possible be avoided and if any mortalities occur, the carcass must under no circumstances be cut open,” it said.

Animals which contract the disease show symptoms, which can include: not eating, a decline in milk production; milk may be bloody; contracted breathing and often be lying down.

For more information go to www. nicd.ac.za/diseases -a-z-index/. Guidelines and other useful resources are available on the National Institute for Communicable Diseases website: www. nicd.ac.za