Foot and Mouth Disease | FAQ

Here are some questions that people are asking. We have created a FAQ group with DAFF (thanks to Dr. Marietta Bronkhorst for her help):

Is there a movement ban on animals?

There is no ban on the movement of animals in general, although it is advisable that movements should be restricted and discouraged as far as possible. The Gazette Notice does not prohibit the movement of animals.  It prohibits the gathering of cloven hoofed animals, where there are two or more places of origin, and where the intention is to move the animals to two or more destinations, within a time period shorter than 28 days. 

Are there any restrictions on the movement of animals from one farm to another?

The movement of animals between properties falls outside the scope of this Gazette Notice.  The requirements that were applicable prior to the issuing of this notice are still applicable.  There is no requirement for a government veterinary movement permit to be issued in terms of this Gazette.

If movements must take place, it is advised that a health declaration for movement is used, which requires veterinary inspection of the animals to be moved to ascertain that they are not showing clinical signs of Foot and Mouth Disease. This assists the seller and buyer of animals to limit potential spread of disease and subsequent liabilities.

How will live sales in the informal trade be regulated?

The emphasis must be on self-regulation and buyers must be made aware that they must only buy safe animals. Sellers of infected animals open themselves up to prosecution and civil lawsuits, should they cause the spread of FMD.

Is transport of animals allowed from farm to abattoir or from a feedlot to an abattoir?

Movement of animals from a farm or a feedlot directly to an abattoir is allowed, as the abattoir is an end-point destination from where the animals will not be distributed. Take note that it is illegal to move animals out of an abattoir facility based on the Meat Safety Act, 2000 (Act No. 40 of 2000).

Can an auction proceed if a single farmer’s livestock is auctioned off, with no external animals added, but with multiple buyers? 

Yes, this is allowed since the animals will come from a single origin.  The single origin farm must also comply with the requirements of the Gazette notice. The seller must declare and be able to prove, through auditable records, that no new animals were introduced onto the farm of origin for 28 days prior to movement to the auction.   No other animals may be added to the auction property during the period when the seller’s animals are there. 

Sometimes feedlots select heifers to sell to other farmers, so there is a mix of animals at the feedlot and not all go for slaughter.   How will this practise be affected by the prohibition?

Feedlots that sell animals to other farms will be breaking the law unless all animals in the feedlot originate from one source, or if all animals in the feedlot have been on the farm for 28 days, according to the conditions of Scenarios above.