Mmegi Online :: Buffalo tests free of FMD, no beef yet
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Last Updated
Monday 11 December 2017, 21:38 pm.
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Buffalo tests free of FMD, no beef yet

THAMAGA: The eagerly awaited results of the tests carried on the buffalo carcass that was killed last week at Moreane crush near Kanye has tested free of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). This was revealed Tuesday by the assistant minister of agriculture, Kgotla Autwetse during a kgotla meeting in Thamaga.
By Goitsemodimo Kaelo Thu 21 Apr 2016, 11:23 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Buffalo tests free of FMD, no beef yet








The buffalo was killed and burnt last week Monday by the police and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks after reports that it attacked two people and left them injured in Moreane crush, also forcing the Department of Veterinary Services to suspend the movement of cloven-hoofed animals, their products and slaughtering.   

Autlwetse told anxious villagers that while it is a relief that the buffalo did test negative, it is still too early to relax the suspension of the movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their products and their slaughter.

He said until all is done to ascertain that no threat is imminent, the suspensions will remain enforced. He said the search for the suspected three other buffaloes will continue until April 23, 2016.

“If by then we would have found nothing, we will stop the search and take it that the one that was killed was alone. This is because there have been many stories of people saying they have seen three, while others claim they were more than that.

We can’t just ignore these reports, but we will end the search on the 23rd and consider the reports as untrue,” he said.

He also said once the search is stopped, the schedule for quarantine of cattle will be publicised to further ascertain if they contracted the FMD, adding that at the moment veterinary officers are observing if cattle in Zone 11 will show signs of the disease.

“The ban still stands. No slaughtering of cattle even for social gatherings such as funerals and weddings.

We want all the meat to finish and butcheries to close down for a while as we go through

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this process. Monate wa nama o seka wa re tsenya mo thaelong. We have deployed the police and veterinary officers to make sure that all meat is finished in butcheries.”

He warned those who want to use the situation to score cheap points. Autlwetse said the issue should be treated with utmost caution and the seriousness it deserves as FMD brings poverty. He said Zone 11 has always been Botswana’s green zone and heartbeat of the beef export to the European Union for many years and everything should be done to protect that. He explained that they suspect that the buffalo could have come from neighbouring South Africa, as there are people who are allowed to farm them.

Commenting on Autlwetse’s update, the villagers expressed happiness at the news that the buffalo has tested free of FMD. Moemedi Moswete said he is happy that their cattle will not be killed if they have FMD because there is a vaccine. He called on government to consider demarcation of Zone 11 and erection of cordon fences.  Another villager, Moses Motlhale expressed disappointment at those who spread untrue stories about this issue and called for them to be arrested and charged.

“I breathed a sigh of relief that the buffalo has no FMD. But those who spread lies about this issue disappoint me. People who lie should be arrested and charged,” he said.

Meanwhile, Autlwetse dismissed last week’s reports that the ban on slaughtering for social gatherings had been lifted.  He said only pasteurised milk could be moved while direct milk from cattle can be moved with permission from the veterinary office.

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