Published Date: 2019-11-30 17:02:17
Subject: PRO/AH> Foot & mouth disease - South Africa (04): (LP) cattle, economics, control
Archive Number: 20191130.6814906
FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - SOUTH AFRICA (04): (LIMPOPO) CATTLE, ECONOMICS, CONTROL
A ProMED-mail post http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org
Date: Wed 27 Nov 2019
Source: Food for Mzansi [abridged, edited]
The FMD [foot and mouth disease] outbreaks have caused the country to lose its FMD-free status, meaning South African farmers cannot export animals or animal products. This significantly impacts our economy. To local consumers, the FMD outbreak means meat prices, especially red meat, will likely increase. As consumers prepare for the festive season, expect meat prices to be high as markets struggle to find animals for meat. Provinces that are already banned from selling their animals in markets are Limpopo, Gauteng, North West, and Mpumalanga.
For the 2nd time since the beginning of 2019, South Africa has experienced positive testing of FMD. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) recently reported through its media release about the positive testing of FMD in the Molemole district of Limpopo province [ProMED-mail archive no. 20191122.6792837]. The positive FMD presence was found in the farm that is located in the previously FMD-free zones.
Readers may recall that earlier this year [on 8 Jan 2019], the national department of agriculture also reported an outbreak of FMD in Vhembe district in the Limpopo province. This immediately prompted the World Organisation for Animal Heath (OIE) to suspend South Africa's FMD-free status. This resulted in a devastating effect on the trade of cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa to its trading partners. Some countries instituted official bans, and trade was further disrupted as a result of the inability to certify for any exports where FMD-free zone attestation is required.
The [January 2019] outbreak also affected our trading partners in Africa and Asia, which rely on South African bovine meat imports. China is the main market that was affected heavily, as it constitutes a 45% share of South Africa's bovine meat destined to the world. Locally, Mozambique consumes 8.1% of our bovine meat destined for the African continent.
As a result of the import ban, South Africa lost significant market shares in favour of competing countries such as Namibia. The official ban, instituted due to the January  outbreak, has made a strong contribution to the downward trend of South African bovine exports. In the month of January 2019, South African bovine exports experienced a 78.2% decline in growth volume when compared to the 3496.2 tons that was exported in December 2018.
Earlier this year , other countries such as China lifted the import ban of products from cloven-hoofed animals, and this led to some recovery in South Africa's bovine meat exports. South Africa's bovine meat exports rose from 752 tons in January to 2535.4 tons in September 2019. Therefore, with the recent FMD outbreak, South Africa runs the risk of further possible imposition of restrictions on the movement of bovine products.
Adopting the use of traceability systems is one of the critical ways that South Africa can control and manage the outbreaks of the FMD in the country. The system has been successful in Namibia, where it effectively maps out areas that need to be quarantined and managed in terms of livestock movements. DAFF cautioned farmers not to allow any new animals into their herds, and also minimize the movement of their own herds to other farms.
[byline: Lucius Phaleng]
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[The causative serotype of the current event, FMDV SAT2, is believed to circulate endemically in Kruger National park. Infection is likely a spillover from the wildlife reservoir there to the susceptible cattle in adjacent regions (South Africa applies a policy of non-vaccination, even in the high-risk areas). Subscribers may refer to pages 18-19 (Pool 6 - Southern Africa), EUFMD [European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease] global monthly report, February 2019, at http://www.fao.org/3/ca4024en/ca4024en.pdf.
As indicated in the above review, South Africa may shorten the export embargo period upon its animals/products and decrease losses by the application of traceability. Namibia, which suffered the worst outbreak of FMD in 40 years during 2015, managed to minimize the impact of the outbreak and make free trade possible by the application of the "Namibian Livestock Identification and Traceability System" (NamLITS). The event and the effectiveness of the system are discussed in the reference below.
The general principles on identification and traceability of live animals are presented in chapter 4.2 of OIE's Terrestrial Animal Health Code (https://www.oie.int/index.php?id=169&L=0&htmfile=chapitre_ident_traceability.htm).
1. Prinsloo T, de Villiers C, van Niekerk J. The role of the Namibian Livestock Traceability Systems in containing the recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. Case study from the Northern parts of Namibia. IEEE. 2017; https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=8016172.
HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Limpopo province, South Africa: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/2947.]