Mozambique has slapped a blanket ban on imports of animals and animal products from neighboring South Africa due to the outbreak of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the Limpopo province, APA can report on Sunday.
Thus Mozambique has joined Botswana and the Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly Swaziland who have suspended meat imports from South Africa while Zimbabwe is in the process of setting up a ban due to the outbreak of the highly contagious foot and mouth disease.
According to Mozambique's National Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Safety (MASA), the measure aims to avoid the risk of infection of animals and animal products through imports from South Africa.
"In this context, imports of bovine, caprine, ovine and porcine animals (ungulates), their products and by-products from all South Africa are prohibited, with the exception of products which have been completely treated for inactivation of foot-and- namely pasteurized dairy products, heat processed meats, trophies, hair and furs," reads a MASA media statement emailed to APA on Sunday.
The Mozambican authorities ensure that they will strengthen the border inspection and inspection of animal products and by-products from South Africa.
Mozambique's decision comes at a time when the South African multi-billionaire beef industry is suffering from heavy losses as most of the neighboring state have taken similar measures since it was reported early this month.
Meanwhile, the South African department of Agriculture believes that the affected areas are under quarantine and that investigations are under way to verify the results and determine the extent of the outbreak.
The World Organization for Animal Health has officially suspended South Africa temporarily as an exporting country until the affected area is free of the disease.
The disease, which causes lesions and lameness in cattle and sheep, was detected in a northern district of Limpopo province, South Africa’s agriculture department announced this week.
Meanwhile, Botswana’s Agricultural Ministry said it would also halt the movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa as well as transiting those products through Botswana.
Botswana is one of the largest beef exporters to the EU but has often suspended sales in the past due to foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks.
Zimbabwe’s Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri is quoted in the local media as saying that they were also in the process of banning affected meat and livestock imports from South Africa but would give more detail in a statement later on Sunday.
Foot and mouth disease does not affect humans but poses a threat to cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, goats and sheep.