Botlhe Modisane, the department's technical spokesperson on foot-and-mouth disease, says it is important that animals should not be brought together and redistributed. He says it came under the department's attention that single animals have been introduced in auction systems after it was confirmed that foot-and-mouth disease were found in a herd of cattle on a farm in the Molemole municipal area early last month. According to Modisane, the Minister of Agriculture Thoko Didiza made an urgent appeal to roleplayers to temporarily suspend among others auctions in this province, as well as Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and North West. He says despite the department's appeal some animals still came in contact with hundreds of other animals after which the animals were spread to farms all over Limpopo. The national trade committee is expected to meet today, while the national technical team is also gathering.
Meanwhile an essential and extremely urgent communication platform between roleplayers in the red meat industry in North West was established last week. Boeta du Toit, CEO of Agri North West, says the red meat industry, veterinary services and supporting government institutions met with the focus on the uncertainty about the current status of auctions and confusion about the inconsistent manner and control with regard to banning auctions. Du Toit says as a result the collective decision taken by the provincial agriculture department to ban auctions is still in force. He says it was also indicated that the department cannot support the request by industry leaders in the province for a relaxation on the banning of auctions. This despite specific bio security measure that are in place because it boils down to conflict with a national decision taken by the national department.
Still with the foot-and-mouth outbreak in Limpopo... Agri SA is expected to hold a media briefing tomorrow in Pretoria regarding the recent foot-and-mouth outbreak there. Industry roleplayers will discuss the effect the outbreak has on the livestock industry. Ongoing mitigation efforts and proposed interventions to contain the outbreak will be discussed. The organisation says the outbreak has a significant economic impact on the livestock industry.