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South Africa: Parts of KwaZulu-Natal Declared Free of Foot and Mouth

The ban on the movement of all cloven-hoofed animals (domestic and wild), and any of their products, in the rest of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has been lifted, except in the Umkhanyakude, uThungulu and Zululand districts.

Farmers and members of the public in areas where the movement ban has been lifted are still advised to exercise extreme caution when moving animals or animal products.

The shutdown of animal movement in uThungulu stems from positive samples retrieved in the north of the Umfolozi River. The surveillance has been moved to the south of Umfolozi to establish the furthest point of infection. The areas of concern are currently the south and southwestern areas such as Mbonambi, Ntambanana, Nkandla, eShowe, Kranskop and Melmoth. The results are due to be confirmed this weekend.

The Veterinary Operations Centre (VOC) based in Umkhanyakude is also waiting for results regarding the status in the Zululand areas of Ulundi and Nongoma. However, the results from Vryheid, Ladysmith, Port Shepstone, Howick, Ixopo and Durban have come back negative. The infection was first detected in Umkhanyakude late last month.

The area between the west of the N2 and the east of the R66, the outermost western boundary, has been declared a buffer zone. The VOC will be establishing roadblocks in that area to prevent any westward infection. This 25 kilometres wide boundary will be gazetted as a control area. The Nkonkoni roadblock will be moved to Magudu where the R66 joins the N2. The rest of other roadblocks will be set up on the back routes leading to the N2 and R66 up until the N2 in the south.

Vaccination will begin once the southern and southwestern boundaries have been defined and vaccinated animals will be branded.

Following the discovery of the outbreak, all exports of cattle, goats, sheep and related products were suspended, except for products that have been fully processed to inactivate the FMD virus.

The export of venison is expected to suffer losses of around R50 million and the interrupted export of hides and skins is estimated to cost R300 million, per annum.

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Editors and staff from the Business Desk at The Global Herald.

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