Daily Dispatch

SA imposes ban following Lesotho anthrax outbreak


SA has imposed a ban on imports of live animals and related products‚ including wool‚ from Lesotho following an outbreak of anthrax.

The Veterinary Authority of Lesotho reported three anthrax outbreaks to the World Organisati­on for Animal Health.

The first outbreak started on May 12 and 24 cattle were reported to have died of the disease. Anthrax infects humans and warm-blooded animals‚ and is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis.

Animals become infected by eating or licking material that is contaminat­ed with spores or from breathing in the spores. These are formed when the bacteria are exposed to oxygen when an animal that has died of anthrax is cut open.

The spores are resistant and survive for long periods – up to decades – in the environmen­t.

Humans most commonly contract anthrax through contact with infected animals or animal products‚ such as meat.

The department of agricultur­e urged livestock owners to make sure their herds were vaccinated against anthrax every 12 months.

Owners should also report any sudden deaths of livestock‚ with blood oozing from carcass openings‚ to the state veterinari­an‚ private veterinari­an or animal health technician‚ the department said.

Consumers should only purchase livestock that looks healthy and are from a trustworth­y source.

“Make sure that the meat you buy originates from an abattoir that is registered in terms of the Meat Safety Act‚” the department said.

Make sure that the meat you buy originates from an abattoir that is registered

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