Big Concern for Livestock Value Chain as Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreaks Persist

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The latest news on the domestic market is that the Minister of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has announced her decision to suspend all livestock movements throughout the country in order to stop the continued spread of the virus. foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the country.

The duration is 21 days during which all cattle cannot be moved from one property to another for any reason, which will however be subject to a weekly review. Prosecutions for illegal movement of livestock will be conducted in violation of the Animal Diseases Act 1984 (Act No. 35 of 1984).

In the previous update, DALRRD confirmed that there were 110 incidences in the previous FMD zone consisting of three events according to DALRRAD. The first event started in May 2021 in KZN while the second occurred in March 2022 in the previous FMD free zone at LP that spread to Northern GP in April 2022. The third outbreak started in March 2022 in the NW and has since spread to GP, FS and MP provinces.

This is obviously not good news as it has a negative impact on exports as Foot and Mouth Disease is a reportable disease under the terms of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and importing countries can choose to prohibit imports as in the case of the People of the Republic of China.

China earlier announced an import ban on all cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa to China starting April 1, 2022. China accounted for about 22% of Africa’s total meat exports South in 2021 and, in addition, its share of South Africa’s wool imports. is greater than 70%.

Although a short-term measure, the suspension continues to disrupt supply and demand dynamics in the country. However, persistent epidemics will reduce the country’s export momentum, which still accounts for a relatively small share of local production.

Additionally, there are huge economic consequences for producers and industries in the value chain of the potential loss of South Africa’s FMD free status if the situation is not brought to a halt. Elevating biosecurity measures, including the use of technology for traceability, is now an imperative for all actors in the livestock value chain.

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