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Grave concern over FMD outbreaks

Agri SA expresses its concern over the national banning of livestock auctions as a result of the latest cases of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Limpopo.

“This will have an adverse economic impact on the agricultural sector,” cautioned Omri van Zyl, Agri SA Executive Director. “The national banning of livestock auctions comes at a time when farmers are already cash-strapped and adds additional pressure on the sustainability of farmers.”

There have been numerous challenges in the way that the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) managed the disease in the controlled area.

“Whilst we understand the government’s decision to ban auctions to determine the extent of the crisis; the banning of auctions can only be a short term mitigant to contain the disease,” said Van Zyl. “We are concerned about the potential threat of the disease spreading to other provinces which could be catastrophic for South Africa. The tracing of infected animals needs to be done as a matter of urgency.”

Greater consultation and cooperation between all role-players are needed.

“We call on all stakeholders, public and private, to cooperate with the DALRDD and veterinary services to mitigate the crisis. The existing structures within organised agriculture such as the National Animal Health Forum (NAHF) and the members of the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) are best positioned to manage the situation,” said Dan Kriek, Agri SA President.

Agri SA calls on the DALRDD to continuously combine their efforts with these structures and to allocate sufficient resources to implement the required interventions. The announcement to deploy upgraded security measures on the Limpopo province’s borders is welcomed.

Agri SA calls for the ban to be lifted as soon as safety measures permit it.

Find the media release of the RPO here: RPO persverklaring 22 November 2019

Dan Kriek
Agri SA President
(C) 082 944 0566

Omri van Zyl
Agri SA Executive Director
(C) 082 417 5724