Vaccination Push in South Africa as FMD Outbreak Reported

SOUTH AFRICA - South Africa is the latest country to report an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), after cattle with clinical signs of the disease were found in the Limpopo region.
calendar icon 21 December 2015
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Fourteen cases were identified in a herd of 1200 susceptible cattle, in a diptank area in the FMD protection zone.

The protection zone was set up to prevent incursions of FMD from other African countries into the rest of South Africa. The report from South Africa's agriculture department to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said that because the outbreak occurred in the protection zone, it has no effect on the country's FMD-free status.

The outbreak is thought to have occurred due to contact of cattle with wild species.

Following the outbreak in the Matiani village in the Vhembe district, the agriculture Minister visited Matiani dipping facility in where he met with the farmers in the village.

A comprehensive outbreak response plan has been instituted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Public and community communication plans have been implemented in local languages to educate people about the disease and the importance of adhering to the increased control measures.

All Provincial Veterinary Officials (State Veterinarians and Animal Health Technicians) will assist in the vaccination campaigns.

All cattle in the 5 neighbouring villages to Matiani will be vaccinated, and the work was scheduled to be completed by 20 December 2015. The department commits that all vets will work throughout the month of December to ensure that all the cattle are vaccinated.

A total of 6070 cattle will be vaccinated; vaccinations began on 14 December, 3998 cattle have been vaccinated so far.

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