Agri SA says the total ban on the movement of cattle, to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, comes too late.
The organization says the ban would have a severely negative impact on farming areas that have not recorded any cases of the disease.
The Minister of Agriculture, Thoko Didiza, made the announcement yesterday, effectively locking down all of the country’s cattle herds for a period of 21 days.
Executive Director at Agri SA, Christo van der Rheede says these lockdown measures should have been implemented in FMD-affected provinces weeks ago.
Cattle may not be moved from one property to another for a period of 21 days. The suspension will be reviewed weekly.
Van der Rheede says they urged the government to implement this ban weeks ago.
He says the government should have acted much sooner which would have prevented a total ban.
The ban will be declared in the Government Gazette, and any disregard for it will be regarded as a criminal offence.
Earlier this year, the government announced that there were dozens of cases in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, and Gauteng.
While usually not lethal, the disease causes blisters and can cause death in some animals.
It is not readily transmissible to humans and does not cause serious illness.
According to the World Association for Animal Health, the disease is not a public health risk.
In April this year, China imposed a ban on wool exports from SA following outbreaks of FMD in parts of the country.
The local wool industry estimates it has so far lost an estimated R734 million in wool exports to China.
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A national ban on moving cattle is now in place to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease. Cattle may not be moved from one property to another for a period of 21 days. The suspension will be reviewed weekly.#Smile904FMNews
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