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Control Measures on Foot and Mouth Disease Repealed

February 19, 2020

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Control measures relating to foot and mouth disease (FMD) in certain areas have been repealed.

The agriculture, land reform and rural development department published notification of the repeal in Government Gazette 43027.

The control measures were imposed at the beginning of December 2019 in terms of the Animal Diseases Act.

They were designed to prevent the spreading of foot and mouth disease through gatherings of live cloven-hoofed animals such as auctions, shows, speculators or any other activities.

A prohibition on the live auction of cloven-hoofed animals in certain areas was imposed.

However, animals could remain at a single place for at least 28 days before being transferred to other pieces of land or property.

In a statement, the agriculture, land reform and rural development minister, Thoko Didiza, declared that auctions will now only take place under stringent conditions.

All livestock agents must also be registered with the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC).

The minister further “emphasised that agents already registered with APAC and compliant to the Rules in respect of livestock agents as published in Government Gazette 41473 Board Notice 28 of 2018 may proceed with auctions.”

The minister confirmed that all APAC certificates issued prior to 2 March 2018 have lapsed and need to be renewed on or before 30 March 2020.

According to the minister, the outbreak of FMD in the free zone cannot yet be declared as over although it appears that the initial spread of the disease has been successfully contained.

“The work on the Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS-SA) is at an advanced stage and the implementation of this system is inevitable for better management of diseases in the country.”

In a separate matter, the portfolio committee on agriculture, land reform and rural development has, in a statement, welcomed the emphasis in the recent State of the Nation Address on the potential of the agriculture sector for economic growth.

According to the committee chairperson, Zwelivelile Mandela, it is vital that the key recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture are implemented without delay.

The chairperson also called for the completion of the parliamentary process to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation as a delay will be “at our own peril, and at the cost of economic loss, social pressure and growing unrest”.

Also welcomed were steps to regulate use of hemp and cannabis products, new agricultural markets flowing from the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement and progress made with sector master plans for the poultry and sugar industries.