Foot-and-mouth to cost farmers

2011-03-30 11:32

Johannesburg - The foot-and-mouth outbreak in Northern KwaZulu-Natal holds serious financial implications for the livestock industry, Agri SA said on Wednesday.

"It has also exposed various shortcomings in the veterinary infrastructure and service delivery," Agri SA president Johannes Möller said in a statement.

He said the dynamics around control of the current outbreak and the implications for stock farmers, required continued action.

Möller said the disease was caused by inadequate control over the movement of livestock from endemic areas and by the high vacancy rate for veterinarians responsible for regulatory control.

"The dilemmas experienced with foot-and-mouth disease probably offer a good opportunity to emphasise the need for better cooperation and to create a structure for coordinated action."

He said Agri SA welcomed the proactive steps taken by Karan Beef to investigate the possible incidence of foot-and-mouth disease in their feedlots in Gauteng and to put measures in place to limit the risk of the disease spreading to its herd.

"We noted that this feedlot was found to be virus-free and that a management protocol is being implemented as a precautionary measure.

"With the large number of animals dealt with in the feedlot, it comes as a relief for the industry as such," he said.