Livestock imports from South Africa suspended in ongoing foot-and-mouth outbreak

Both Zimbabwe and eSwatini have announced a suspension of imports of livestock and meat from South Africa for a second time this year after outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease continue to emerge.
calendar icon 13 November 2019
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Reuters reports that in January, eSwatini, formerly Swaziland, joined Botswana and Zimbabwe in suspending meat imports from South Africa over an outbreak of the highly contagious viral disease, foot-and-mouth, which affects cloven-footed animals - those with divided hooves such as cows, pigs and sheep.

Zimbabwe reactivated its ban last week.

Principal Secretary in eSwatini's Ministry of Agriculture, Bongani Masuku, said government wanted to protect its citizens from the disease and that it would only lift the ban once the situation had improved.

South Africa's live animal exports to eSwatini totalled 458.9 million rand ($31 million) between January and September, according to Statistics SA.

South Africa's Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries confirmed the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the northern Limpopo province last Wednesday, saying it had placed one farm in the area under quarantine to prevent the disease from spreading.

"The suspension of imports from South Africa is a precautionary measure designed to prevent the spread of the infection into Zimbabwe," the ministry said.

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