Disease management area affected by foot-and-mouth diseases reduced

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza, has announced the reduction of the size of the disease management area (DMA) affected by foot-and-mouth diseases (FMD) in KwaZulu-Natal.

This follows the conclusion of the second round of serological surveillance, where it was established that the disease, within the DMA, is still confined to two clusters of diptanks in Mtubatuba and Nongoma.

This shows that the restriction on the movement of animals out of, within, through, and into the DMA was sufficient to prevent the disease from spreading.

“Since the disease did not spread within or outside of the DMA, the size of the KZN DMA can now be decreased. This will release areas that remained free of the disease from movement restrictions, while still maintaining restrictions on those areas where the disease is still present,” Didiza said in a statement.

The Minister declared in the Gazette the new KZN DMA, which includes the following areas:

The portions of the Pongola local municipality east of the R66, and south and west of the N2;

The whole of the Nongoma local municipality;

The portions of the Big Five Hlabisa local municipality west of the N2;

The whole of the Mtubatuba local municipality;

The whole of the Mfolozi local municipality;

The portions of the uMhlathuze local municipality north of the R34; and

The whole of Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park.

In total, FMD was detected and confirmed in 29 locations, including two clusters of diptanks in communal grazing land.

The local municipalities of Umhlabuyalingana, Jozini, eDumbe, Abaqulusi, Ulundi, Nkandla, Mthonjaneni and uMlalazi, are now released from movement restrictions.

The Minister has commended the farmers and communities that have adhered to the movement restrictions imposed upon them, saying this has now made it possible to reduce the area under restrictions.

Movement of cloven-hoofed animals allowed on permit

The Minister added that there are still signs of circulating FMD virus within the two clusters, and the movement protocol and permit system for movement of cloven-hoofed animals remains in place in the revised DMA.

“Movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their products into, out of, through, or within the DMA is still only allowed on authority of a permit issued by the Veterinary Services of the area. The movement protocol can be obtained from KZN Veterinary Services.

“Visible Veterinary Patrols and roadblocks will remain in place in the reduced DMA to control the movement of livestock and to monitor adherence to the movement protocol. Livestock owners are encouraged to submit all applications for movement to the Provincial Veterinary Movement Control Officers for evaluation and risk assessment. Applications and queries can be submitted to fmdpermitskzn@gmail.com,” Didiza explained.

She reminded all stakeholders to continue abiding by the movement restrictions still in place in the reduced DMA, as “these restrictions are deemed necessary to prevent the escape of the virus out of the affected areas.”

“As soon as it is clear that there is no longer circulating virus in these areas, the remaining movement restrictions can also be reconsidered.”

Source: South African Government News Agency

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