Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza has lifted the 21-day nationwide ban on the movement of cattle, a ban that severely impacted on the cattle industry in the Northern Cape.
AGRICULTURE Minister Thoko Didiza has lifted the 21-day nationwide ban on the movement of cattle, a ban that severely impacted on the cattle industry in the Northern Cape.
The ban prohibited farmers from moving cattle after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, which was most prevalent on farms, feedlots and communal areas in several provinces in the country.
Although there were no reported cases in the Northern Cape, the ban was implemented across the country.
The department’s spokesperson, Reggie Ngcobo, said the decision to lift the ban was based on the progress that the state veterinary services made over the past 21 days.
The Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) on Thursday welcomed the decision.
The organisation also expresses its sincere thanks to the minister for taking into account all the representations of role-players in the value chain due to the ban and its impact on the red meat value chain.
However, the RPO also encouraged red meat producers to take care that all documentation is put in place and “to act with the necessary seriousness and to be careful with the movement of any animals or the introduction of animals onto his/her farm”.
“Biosecurity at farm level is now becoming crucial. Self-regulation must now also play a big role. Status reports indicate that the disease is still spreading and therefore red meat producers must proceed very carefully by limiting movement of animals to a minimum,” the RPO said in a statement.
“We want to assure members that the RPO, in collaboration with the national Animal Health Forum, is still working hard to establish a contingency plan for the future.”
Producers must still bear in mind that foot-and-mouth disease is a state-controlled disease and this is the responsibility of government, the organisation added.
“The RPO therefore gives its full support and cooperation to government,” the statement concluded.