MOZAMBIQUE – The government of Mozambique has banned the importation of animals and other animal by-products from Zimbabwe over the outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease.

The measure comes after the Zimbabwean Tax Authority notified the Mozambican authorities about the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Mashonaland Central province, Mbire district, which borders Mozambique.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease is a viral disease of ungulates, i.e., animals with hooves and spreads easily across herds and when not contained, can easily spread across borders.

The Mozambican government, cognizant of such dangers, asked for the suspension of animal imports from Zimbabwe where the disease had broken out at the Mashonaland Central Province.

According to a report by the Mozambique News Agency, the importation of cattle, goats, pigs and cattle fodder from Zimbabwe has also been temporarily banned.

The Mozambican government is also carrying out the supervision of the movement of animals and targeted products along the main borders and other road entry points into the country.

In the districts bordering on Zimbabwe, it will be compulsory to perform a visual inspection, examination of the mouth cavity and hooves of all cattle, goats, sheep and pigs on a monthly basis.

Nevertheless, according to a note from the independent daily “O País”, the entry of pasteurized dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and cream, processed meats (canned goods and sausages) is continuing.

Foot and mouth disease is classified as one of the most dangerous livestock diseases in the world because of its rapid transmission and spread, with very negative economic impacts.

In 2018, several countries including Mozambique banned South African meat over a foot-and-mouth disease breakout in the northern Limpopo province.

The outbreak prompted the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to lift the FMD-free status that the country has enjoyed since 2014, allowing it to boost red meat exports.

South Africa is a net exporter of chilled and frozen beef. It produces around US$ 145 million worth of exports in red meats annually, with agriculture being one of the highest contributors to GDP, as reported by News 24.

Last year, Mozambique issued a ban on all imports of poultry and their products from South Africa after it was confirmed that the type of avian influenza found on a farm in Gauteng is the highly pathogenic subtype of avian influenza (HPAI).

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