The Botswana government says it has immediately banned the import of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products from neighbouring South Africa after a report of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Limpopo province.
South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said on Tuesday it had been informed of positive laboratory results for the disease in the province’s Vhembe district after samples were collected during an investigation following reports of cattle with lameness.
It said the matter had been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health and that South Africa’s official FMD-free status had been temporarily suspended.
Botswana said in addition to the ban of imports, the movement of cloven-hoofed animals originating from South Africa and transiting through Botswana was not allowed.
“The importation of veldt grasses, bedding and animal manure contaminated products and vehicles are also not allowed,” the ministry of agricultural development and food security said.
“All permits issued in respect to the above products are cancelled with immediate effect.”
South Africa’s own agriculture department said the affected area was under quarantine and no movement of animals and animal products was allowed.
FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease which affects livestock with significant economic impact. The disease affects cattle, pigs (domestic and wild), sheep, goats, and other cloven-hoofed animals.
The disease does not affect human beings.
Signs of disease may include depressed animals, sores in the mouth of animals causing reluctance to eat and lameness.