By Taonga Sabola:
The Ministry of Agriculture has said it has suspended imports and in-transit movement of cattle, goats, sheep and pig products from South Africa and other known infected countries on the continent due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD).
In a statement on Thursday, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Grey Nyandule Phiri, said FMD is spread through infected animals newly introduced into a herd; contaminated pens, buildings or transport facilities; contaminated clothing, footwear or equipment; and virus infected meat and other contaminated animal products.
Phiri said the ministry is in regular consultation with veterinary authorities within the region and shall continue to update the public and specific stakeholders on any changes in the status.
Phiri said, to protect the country’s herd and in conformity with the Control and Animal Diseases Act (Cap 66:02) and World Animal Health organisation guidelines, the ministry has instituted a number of measures.
He said the measures include banning the importation of all cloven hooved animals from SA as well as the temporary suspension of issuance of livestock movement permits on such imports from SA and other known infected countries.
He added that Capital Hill has also intensified awareness among all traders in animal and animal products and the general livestock community on t h e outbreak.
FMD is a highly contagious viral disease that mostly affects cattle and has significant negative socio-economic consequences if not timely controlled.