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Draft Bovine Brucellosis Control Policy Drawn Up

November 18, 2019

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

18 November 2019

A Draft Bovine Brucellosis Control Policy has been drawn up.

The agriculture, land reform and rural development department published the draft policy in Government Gazette 42839 for comment.

The proposed policy flows from the Animal Diseases Act.

According to the notice, bovine brucellosis, caused by brucella abortus, is a “chronic herd disease that negatively impacts on cattle production and reproduction by causing abortions, still-born and weak calves, retained placentas, decreased milk yield and reduced fertility in bulls”.

Humans can be infected via consumption of raw milk, the slaughtering of infected animals without adequate protection and the handling of aborted foetuses and afterbirths of infected cows.

The department points out that the most effective way of reducing the impacts of the disease on livestock and preventing human infection is to control the disease in the animal population.

The draft policy incorporates input received from stakeholders on the “Discussion Document on the Review on Bovine Brucellosis Control” published for comment in 2017.

The aim of the draft policy is to “set out and clarify the broad framework of the disease control strategy to be followed for bovine brucellosis control in cattle; and to provide guidelines on roles and responsibilities for the implementation of the policy and to amend legislation where required”.

Steps advocated in the draft policy to improve disease control and decrease the prevalence of the disease include enforced compulsory vaccination of all heifer calves between 4-8 months of age with a registered vaccine, with potential booster vaccination of adult cows with a relevant registered vaccine, and identification of all vaccinated calves and cows; education on bovine brucellosis; legislated compulsory testing of all cattle and slaughter of brucellosis positive cattle/herds at an approved/ registered abattoir and improved implementation of legislation and policy.

The policy will be applied across the country.

Comment is invited within 90 days of the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in Gazette 42840, three application notices under the Wine of Origin Scheme have been published:

• Notice 1486 – notice of application by Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards for the defining of production area Greater Cape – objections invited within 30 days;
• Notice 1487 – notice of application for the defining of production area Cape West Coast (subregion) – objections invited within 30 days; and
• Notice 1488 – notice of application by Orange Rivier Cellars for the defining of production areas (wards) Groblershoop, Grootdrink, Kakamas, Keimoes, Upington and amendment of central Orange River ward to a district – objections invited within 30 days.