The Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA) has slapped a blanket ban on the entry of cattle, goats, sheep and swine from South Africa as of Wednesday.
On Tuesday evening, 12 November 2019, MASA announced that the ban was due to the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Limpopo Province in South Africa.
The announcement was made by cabinet spokeswoman, Ana Comoana, shortly after emerging from a cabinet meeting in Maputo.
“Given this occurrence, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has taken the proper precautions which includes the ban on all South African meat imports and by products from cattle, goats, sheep and swine due to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in South Africa’s Limpopo province,” said Comoana, who is also deputy minister of Tourism and Culture.
The official added that MASA has strengthened enforcement measures, particularly in border areas.
Mozambique is not the only country in the region banning meat from South Africa.
Zimbabwe also banned the import of beef, goats, sheep and pig meat from South Africa on Friday, 8 November 2019.
In addition to being highly contagious and easily affecting cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, foot-and-mouth disease or FMD can endure for months, even after death, in the animal’s bone marrow, leather and grass.
FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer, and other cloven-hooved ruminants.
FMD is not recognised as a zoonotic disease and spreads very quickly, if not controlled.