Foot and mouth disease (FMD) has been found in cattle on communal land in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal.
As a result, the Dept of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development has imposed a prohibition on the movement of all cloven hoofed animals and game in the district municipalities of King Cetshwayo and Umkhanyakude, as well as the local municipalities of Nongoma, Ulundi and Pongola.
No movement of live cloven hoofed animals is allowed into, out of, or through these districts. The department says the area concerned will be reviewed within two weeks, based on further disease investigations.
Farmers in northern KZN, outside the temporary standstill area have also been asked to observe bio-security measures, ie, not to allow any new animals into their herds, and to minimise the movement of their own herds to other farms.
Any suspected case of FMD in susceptible animals must be reported to the local State Veterinarian.
Symptoms & Results
FMD affects cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and other cloven hoofed animals (domestic and wild).
The major clinical features of the disease include fever, lameness, and the appearance of vesicles and sores in the mouth, feet, teats and mammary glands.
Pain and discomfort from these vesicles and sores lead to other signs of disease such as depression, excessive salivation, lameness, and reluctance to eat, move or stand.
FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease which affects livestock with significant economic impact.
The disease does not affect humans, hence consumers have no cause for concern.