HARARE – Government has immediately banned the importation of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products from neighbouring South Africa following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Limpopo province.
Namibia, Botswana, Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly Swaziland, also immediately imposed a similar ban saying that the movement of cloven-hoofed animals coming from South Africa and transiting through the countries will no longer be allowed.
In a statement, Lands and Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement ministry said all imports from South Africa of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products are suspended with immediate effect.
“The control of the foot and mouth disease involves implementation of trade restrictions.
“Consequently, all import permits that had been issued before January 9, 2019 and not used are hereby cancelled.”
FMD was detected in the non-vaccination disease free zone in the Limpopo province in South Africa.
The disease causes lesions and lameness in cattle and sheep.
South African government said the matter had been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health and that South Africa’s official FMD-free status had been temporarily suspended.
“In line with the Animal Health Act CAP 19:01, the issuance of permits is a mandatory requirement for the importation of all animals and animal products.
“Any application will now be considered on a case by case depending on risk.
“Towards normalising trade with South Africa in these commodities Department of Veterinary Services continues to monitor the situation…” the ministry said.
Zimbabwe heavily imports food from South Africa and in September 2018, US$193,6 million was used in imports, according to Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.