The ministry said the ban follows Lesotho’s Veterinary Authority reporting that three anthrax outbreaks have been identified in its territory to the World Organisation for Animal Health.
According to the report, the first outbreak of anthrax started on 12 May 2019 in the mountain kingdom and 24 cattle have so far died of anthrax.
Anthrax, which is a disease of humans and warm-blooded animals, is caused by the bacterium bacillus anthracis.
Animals become infected by eating or licking material that is contaminated with spores or breathing in the spores, formed when the bacteria are exposed to oxygen in the event that an animal that died of anthrax is cut open.
The spores are resistant and survive for long periods (up to decades) in the environment. Humans most commonly contract the disease through contact with anthrax infected animals or animal products such as meat.
In the meantime, “a ban has been imposed on imports from Lesotho into South Africa of live animals susceptible to anthrax and products of these animals, including wool,” the ministry said.