More foot-and-mouth disease in KZN

2011-03-22 17:01

Johannesburg - The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries on Tuesday declared the eastern part of the R66 and north of the Mfolozi River in northern KwaZulu-Natal as a foot-and-mouth disease infected zone, following surveillance of the area.

Fourteen roadblocks around the area will be set up from Tuesday to prevent the movement of cloven-hoofed animals in and out of the infected area, said Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

The protection zone will encompass the area surrounding the infected area, with the N2 as the northern boundary, the N1 as the western boundary and N3 as the southern boundary. This area will be used as a high surveillance area, where no movement restrictions are imposed.

To date, the department has not been able to isolate the virus, but further tests are being conducted, including sending samples to the reference laboratory in the UK, she said.

Joemat-Pettersson said the intensified surveillance and investigations will continue to ensure that the disease was kept under control.

"We wish to reassure our trading partners and the domestic industry affected by the ban on exports and the movement of animals that we are mindful of the economic impact caused by the outbreak of the disease and we will spare no effort to ensure that we curb the disease," Joemat-Pettersson said.