Three cases of foot-and-mouth disease have been confirmed in the Free State - SABC NewsEnglish 

Three cases of foot-and-mouth disease have been confirmed in the Free State – SABC News

The Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has urged the farming community to refrain from moving and buying animals at auctions. This comes after three cases of FMD were confirmed in the province.

The animals are suspected to have been moved between the North West and the Free State.

According to the department, the animals have characteristic signs of the disease and samples have been taken to confirm the diagnosis.

MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Thembeni Nxangisa, says the cases have been reported on farms in Viljoenskroon and in Marquard.

Nxangisa says the department’s veterinarians responded quickly to stop the situation.

“We are still investigating but the other farmer has a farm in the North West and the same as the Free State. So the possibilities (are) that he may have transported animals from the Northwest because the outbreak started in the Northwest. But what we’re doing now is we’ve quarantined the farms and we’re organizing at least 150,000 vaccines for the affected farms that are in the immediate vicinity so that we protect all the animals.”

The Vigilance of Farmers

Nxangisa says the department has been working with farmers to limit the further spread of the disease in the province. He says the farmers were alert and asked for help.

“In terms of disease detection, this time was also in collaboration with farmers. They noticed signs and called our vets. And in some cases, through a random check by our vets, they picked up the disease. So we’re happy with the response right now and the way we’re working, so we’re happy that we’re going to be able to contain it properly.”

Farmers are being warned to exercise caution to minimize risk to the trade and consumers.

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