African coun­tries ban meat im­ports from SA

The Witness - - NEWS -

MBABANE/GABORONE/HARARE­ —Botswana,­ the­ King­dom­ of­ eSwa­tini­,for­merly­ Swazi­land,­ and­ Zim­bab­we­have­ all­ sus­pended­ meat­ im­ports­from­ South­ Africa­ due­ to­ the­ out­breakof­ the­ highly-con­ta­gious­ footand­ mouth­ dis­ease.

The­ dis­ease,­ which­ causes­ le­sion­sand­ lame­ness­ in­ cat­tle­ and­ sheep,was­ de­tected­ in­ a­ north­ern­ dis­trictof­ Limpopo­ prov­ince,­ South­ Africa’sA­gri­cul­ture­ Depart­ment­ an­nouncedthis­ week.

eSwa­tini,­ which­ is­ heav­ily­ re­lianton­ South­ Africa­ for­ food,­ and­ Botswanaon­ Wednesday­ an­nouncedthat­ they­ would­ ban­ prod­ucts­ from­cloven-hoofed­ an­i­mals,­ join­ing­ Namib­i­awhich­ had­ sus­pended­ im­portswith­ im­me­di­ate­ ef­fect.

“We­ have­ strength­ened­ our­ surveil­lan­cein­ col­lab­o­ra­tion­ with­ se­cu­ritya­gents­ and­ cus­toms­ of­fi­cials­ in­ all­bor­der­ posts,”­ Xolani­ Dlamini,­ di­rec­to­rof­ vet­eri­nary­ ser­vices­ at­ the­ agri­cul­turem­i­nistry,­ told­ Reuters­ late­ onWed­nes­day.

Botswana’s­ Agri­cul­tural­ Min­istry­said­ it­ would­ also­ halt­ the­ move­mentof­ cloven-hoofed­ an­i­mals­ andtheir­ prod­ucts­ from­ South­ Africa­ aswell­ as­ tran­sit­ing­ those­ prod­uct­sthrough­ Botswana.

Botswana­ is­ one­ of­ the­ largest­beef­ ex­porters­ to­ the­ EU­ but­ has­ of­ten­sus­pended­ sales­ in­ the­ past­ dueto­ foot­ and­ mouth­ dis­ease­ (FMD)out­breaks.

Zim­babwe’s­ Agri­cul­ture­ Min­is­terPer­rance­ Shiri­ said­ they­ were­ al­soban­ning­ af­fected­ meat­ and­ live­stockim­ports­ from­ South­ Africa.

“The­ con­trol­ of­ foot­ and­ mouthdis­ease­ in­volves­ im­ple­men­ta­tion­ of­trade­ re­stric­tions.­ Con­se­quently,­ al­limports­ that­ had­ been­ is­sued­ be­fore09/01/2019­ and­ not­ used­ are­ here­by­can­celled,”­ his­ min­istry­ said­ in­ as­tate­ment.

Foot­ and­ mouth­ dis­ease­ does­ no­taf­fect­ hu­mans­ but­ poses­ a­ threat­ to­cloven-hoofed­ an­i­mals­ such­ as­ cat­tle,goats­ and­ sheep.­

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