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South Africa plans livestock traceability scheme after FMD outbreak

Sheep Central, March 4, 2019

South African wool shipments to China have been hit by an FMD outbreak. Photo – Cape Wools SA.

SOUTH Africa’s government aims to implement a national animal identification and traceability system following its latest Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak.

The Republic of South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries last week said is seeking 18 independent parties had participated in a call for expression of interest to implement a national individual animal identification and traceability system for South Africa.

The parties were briefed on 18 February on the scope of the foot and mouth disease spillage into the free zone and were given an opportunity to design a solution that could be extended into a national program in the future.

An outbreak of FMD was detected on 2 January 2019 in the high surveillance area of the FMD-free zone in Limpopo. This was confirmed and reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on 7 January 2019 and South Africa lost its OIE recognised FMD-free zone without vaccination status. Since 14 January, an estimated 10,000 animals have been vaccinated and marked to identify them.

Although South African wool sales recommenced last week, China suspension of imports of all cloven hoofed animals and their products from South Africa continues. China has indicated it is in the process of conducting a comprehensive risk assessment on the FMD situation in South Africa, DAFF said. However, the department is sending a high level delegation to China to address the matter with the Chinese Department of Animal and Plant Quarantine this month.

A DAFF statement last week said the veterinary operations committee in the quarantined area has reported no clinical signs of FMD or serologically positive test results in the epidemiological groups surveyed over the past three weeks.

DAFF said more than 400 local livestock owners across 16 rural villages in the disease management area were interviewed from 19 to 22 February 2019, in an attempt to fast-track the impact of the actions taken at grassroots level to contain the disease.

The department said the promotion of continued trade in safe commodities to South Africa’s trade partners has been highly prioritised and robust negotiations by a dedicated joint trade task team are ongoing.

DAFF successfully negotiated the revision of veterinary health certificates for beef to Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt and Swaziland while negotiations with Mozambique, Lesotho and Namibia are ongoing. Namibia agreed to accept venison produced before 05 December 2018.

Source: South African DAFF .

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