KZN officials hopeful foot & mouth disease outbreak restrictions will be lifted

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development Thoko Didiza imposed restrictions on the movement of cloven-hoofed animals earlier last month, following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in northern KZN.

KZN Agriculture MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi. Picture: Twitter/@DALRRDgov_ZA

DURBAN – Agricultural sector authorities in Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) have said they expect restrictions on the movement of cloven-hoofed animals to be relaxed in the next two weeks.

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development Thoko Didiza imposed the restrictions earlier last month, following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in northern KZN.

The prevalence of the disease – which was first identified in the uMkhanyakude district in May – was still being investigated.

The KZN agriculture department estimates that beef production in the province to be valued at over R3 billion.

At least 22 sites in uMkhanyakade, Zululand, and the King Cetshwayo districts have been placed under quarantine following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi said that this had been effective in curbing the spread of the ailment.

“If we did not do that by today, we should actually be talking about spreading; there has been no spread. We have been certain, as of yesterday, I was looking at the statistics, it says there was no spread – instead, they have reduced the number of the really affected areas.”

Sithole-Moloi said that increased precautionary measures, including ensuring adherence to safety protocols at abattoirs as well as the clearance of more cloven-hoofed animals from the disease, gave them confidence that restrictions on beef production would be eased soon.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.