LIMPOPO farmers have to follow strict measures following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the province. The agriculture department has confirmed laboratory results were positive for the disease in cattle in the Vhembe district. Samples were collected during a disease investigation after reports of lame cattle were received. The virus is known to spread easily.Mpho Maja, the department’s technical spokesman, said experts were sent to investigate. “Control measures will be decided by the findings of this investigation,” he said. Afrivet CEO Peter Oberem said the danger of the virus is that it can be spread by human shoes, vehicles and animals. Farmers are advised not to allow new animals to mix with herds, as they may spread the virus if already infected.“Biosecurity measures must be applied to any object, animal or person from a suspected infected area and have to be strictly enforced,” Oberem said.He said the outbreak could result in farmers losing trading opportunities for meat and other agricultural produce, including wool. “It affects cows, pigs, sheep, goats and cloven hoofed animals. Any suspected case must be reported to the local state veterinary surgeon immediately.”
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