SOUTH AFRICA - South Africa hosted a team of experts from the World Organization for Animal Health, (OIE) from 30 November to 06 December 2014. This mission's intention was to assess the implementation of OIE standards on zonal freedom of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) without vaccination and the progress made on the implementation of recommendations made to South Africa in the 2013 assessment mission.
The experts team visited the Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provinces which implement the FMD control measures as well as the Zimbabwe border area.
The mission was encouraged by the progress made on animal identification in the FMD controlled areas, it also encouraged provinces to speed up the application processes for ear tags. The mission was also encouraged by the progress made on the erection of the “red-line fence”, separating the free zones from the protection zones in the north of KZN.
A number of concerns were raised, which included the visibility of the line separating the free and the non-free zones in South Africa, the availability of an FMD vaccine and its ability to protect the animals from spreading viruses, the process used for the slaughtering of animals from the protection zone, the security of the international border fence between South Africa and Zimbabwe—considering the FMD infected status of Zimbabwe and the absence of the eastern border fence of Ndumo Game Reserve which borders Mozambique in northern KZN.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) together with provinces has done a great deal of work to address the concerns raised by the OIE mission team in 2013.
The mission team advised the DAFF and provinces to prioritise FMD control measures. The report from the mission team will be considered at the OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases (SCAD) meeting in February 2015.
ThePigSite News Desk