After an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed in cattle in the Vhembe District in Limpopo, South Africa has been placed on the no-export list of a number of countries.
Agriculture Department spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana says tests are still being conducted in the affected village of Sundani, but the number of infected animals should be known by Friday.
A vaccination operation is under way to contain the outbreak.
Those that are tested positive must not spread it to other animals.... We are also dealing with other measures including the possibility of culling them, killing all of them.— Khaye Nkwanyana, Agriculture Department spokesperson
It is serious from the view of export because South Africa is a big exporter of red meat not only in African countries and neighbouring countries, but also in the Middle East and Europe and in other parts of the world.— Khaye Nkwanyana, Agriculture Department spokesperson
Nkwanyana says he has been dealing with many queries from countries that import meat from South Africa.
This morning I was handling Russia and some countries in the Middle East. It is going to affect us significantly— Khaye Nkwanyana, Agriculture Department spokesperson
It is a blow for us as an agricultural sector because as you know agriculture is a major contributor to the GDP of the country— Khaye Nkwanyana, Agriculture Department spokesperson
Regarding speculation that the ban could lead to a technical recession, Nkwanyana says it will have to be seen in the next quarter whether it will cost the country as severely as that.
Listen to the full conversation below:
This article first appeared on 702 : Ban on meat exports 'a big setback' - Agriculture Department