The Mercury 6th February 2019
TRADE restrictions on the export of processed meat products have been relaxed by many trade partners following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Limpopo.
Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff), said on behalf of the department and the red meat industry that trade in safe commodities to direct neighbouring countries had largely been accepted and, where necessary, the negotiation of new health certificates was under way.
“There has also been good progress with negotiations to reopen markets for deboned matured beef, processed dairy products and processed hides and skins to other African countries, the Middle East and the Far East,” Zokwana said.
On January 14, Zokwana convened a meeting with the Red Meat Association to engage on better responses to the outbreak.
As a result of the outbreak, South Africa lost its World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)- recognised FMDfree zone without vaccination status.
This has had a devastating effect on the trade in cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa.
“A request was made to trade partners to consider continuation of trade in safe products.
“Guarantees were provided for products that do not pose a risk of transmitting the disease, such as heat-treated meat and dairy products, deboned and matured beef, scoured wool, salted hides and skins, livestock embryos and pork products from known FMD-free pig compartments,” Zokwana said.
Up to January 30, four locations in Limpopo were reported to the OIE.
“The animals affected by the outbreak are cattle kept in rural villages with communal dip tanks and grazing.
“The affected villages are in close proximity, within a 20km radius. The estimated number of cattle in the 20 km around the affected villages is 15 000, of which 4 500 are in the FMD free zone,” Zokwana said.
A disease management area was declared, being the area enclosed by the R81, the R36, N1 and the R524 roads.
No cloven-hoofed animals are allowed to move within, into or out of the area.