South Africa's neighbours slap import bans over foot-and-mouth disease

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — Countries neighbouring South Africa have banned the import of cloven-hoofed animals and their products over a foot-and-mouth disease breakout in the northern Limpopo province, Government said Monday.

On Monday, Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana confirmed the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), first identified a week ago in Vhembe district near the border with Zimbabwe.

The outbreak prompted the World Organization for Animal Health to lift the FMD-free status that the country has enjoyed since 2014, allowing it to boost red meat exports.

Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Eswatini are among the countries that have outlawed imports of South African red meat over the past week.

“These bans have caused serious loss to the industry,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement. “The impact this has had to trade in the past week has been devastating, to say the least.”

The highly contagious viral disease, which causes lesions and lameness, has so far infected about 50 heads of cattle, and the affected area has been placed under quarantine.

South Africa is a net exporter of chilled and frozen beef.

It produces around US$145 million (126 million euros) worth of exports in red meats annually, with agriculture being one of the highest contributors to GDP.

While the disease does not affect human beings, “the movement of such animals and their products, originating from South Africa, is banned”, Botswana's director of veterinary services said.

Agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo cited Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho, Mauritius and Angola among the key beef export markets.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon