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Livestock value chain/ Southern Africa- Reports of growing Foot and Mouth disease

20 April 2015

The Foot and mouth disease (FMD) has outburst in Africa. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) updates showed flare-ups in Botswana and Zimbabwe, frequently in areas where wild animals come in close contact with grazed cattle. In South Africa, it was confirmed with serotype SAT2. Veterinary services officials in Botswana have reviewed the serotype, changing from SAT 1 to SAT 2 and say new outbreaks are resulted by interaction with buffalo populations. Moreover, the buffalo population may remain persistently infected for periods of five years or more thus able to transmit FMD to cattle. It has been noted that outbreaks of FMD in southern Africa occur more frequently in periods of water scarcity when both domestic stock and wildlife tend to congregate at water points. The dairy industry is highly vulnerable to the effects of FMD primarily due to the mastitis sequelae which many high-producing cows suffer. A useful approach to control the disease is through fencing livestock. Nevertheless, the livestock require two or three doses of vaccine per year to ensure effective immunization against FMD.


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