The Botswana government on Wednesday suspended export of all meat products produced in the last 30 days following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the north of the country. Veterinary Services director Letlhogile Modisa said the slaughter, movement of all cloven-hoofed animals and products has been banned in the affected region as a precautionary measure. He said officials from the Department of Veterinary Services investigated the allegations of an FMD outbreak and found five animals that were showing signs consistent with the disease.
The official said control measures would be reviewed once the extent of the outbreak is determined. “Famers are urged to and required to cooperate with ministry officials and round up animals as and when they are required to do so without fail. They are also expected to report any sick cattle without delay,” said Modisa. Botswana is prone to regular outbreaks of FMD, which have affected the country’s beef exports to the lucrative European Union market.