Limits on movement of cloven-hoofed animals in KZN set to be eased

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

FILE: The prevalence of the disease, which was first identified in the uMkhanyakude District in May, is still being investigated. Picture: freeimages.com

DURBAN - Agricultural sector authorities in KwaZulu-Natal said they expected 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 the foot and mouth disease in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The prevalence of the disease, which was first identified in the uMkhanyakude District in May, is still being investigated.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture estimates 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 the foot and mouth disease.

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

“If we did not do that, we would have been talking about spreading, but there is no spread. And we have been certain that the number of affected areas has been reduced.”

Sithole-Moloi said 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.