African countries ban meat imports from SA
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.