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Livestock value chain /Zimbabwe - Government bans some cattle movement over foot and mouth disease

14 September 2015

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has noted with concern reports of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Zimbabwe. A meeting between the Directors of Animal Health/Veterinary Services of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe was held in Harare end of August, 2015 with the aim to assess and discuss the current FMD situation in Zimbabwe. The Chief Veterinary Officer of Zimbabwe assured the two counterparts that the situation is under control, albeit at great expense. The drought that Zimbabwe experienced resulted in a number of cattle moving southwards to designated relief grazing--when the disease had already been discovered. Over 450 000 doses of vaccine have been procured and delivered to different parts of the country where there is active FMD infection. Out of this, 70 000 doses have been dispatched to parts of Southern Province, bordering South Africa and Botswana. A total of 120 000 animals in the southern border area of Zimbabwe are expected to be vaccinated at least twice by end of September to bring current outbreaks in the area under control. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has banned the movement of cattle in the southern part of the country near the South African border due to FMD outbreak, the deputy minister of agriculture declared. Local farmers and communities living near wildlife parks are at risk of foot and mouth, which led to the country losing its quota to export 9,100 tonnes of beef to the European Union in 2001. Due to dry conditions in Southern Africa region following a drought meant that cattle had to move long distance in search of water and pasture, making it difficult to control the disease. Because of the FMD outbreak in the region, a number of markets were closed. For example, South Africa was hit by a foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2011 and was only certified as being free from the disease in February 2014.





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