A few years ago, precisely 2011, export of South Africa’s meat was banned as a result of the outbreak of the Foot & Mouth disease. The meat export restrictions cost the country close to R3 billion a year.
The Agriculture Ministry of South Africa has met international conditions to recover its foot and mouth disease-free status, paving the way for meat export bans to be lifted.
The International Scientific Commission [for Animal diseases] has concluded that South Africa now qualifies for the recovery of its status as country where FMD vaccination is not practiced. Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson told reporters at Parliament.
Mpho Maja, the agriculture department’s director for Animal Health told Parliament that the government would now enter into negotiations with the former importers’ regulatory authorities, including the European Union and neighbouring African states. This is to enable the country secure the lifting of restrictions on South African meat products.
Restrictions have been in place since February 2011 when there was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease among cattle in KwaZulu-Natal, costing the country some R3 billion in lost exports a year.
Maja said the source of the outbreak had never been discovered, and a theory that it came from Mozambique was never confirmed.