ESwatini has suspended animal imports from neighbouring SA for a second time in 2019 after another outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, the kingdom’s agricultural ministry said on Tuesday.

In January, eSwatini, formerly Swaziland, joined Botswana and Zimbabwe in suspending meat imports from SA over an outbreak of the highly contagious viral disease that affects cloven-footed animals — those with divided hooves such as cows, pigs and sheep.

Zimbabwe reactivated its ban last week. Principal secretary in eSwatini’s ministry of agriculture, Bongani Masuku, said the government wanted to protect its citizens from the disease and that it would  lift the ban only once the situation had improved.

SA’s live animal exports to eSwatini totalled R458.9m ($31m) between January and September, according to Statistics SA.

SA’s department of agriculture, forestry & fisheries confirmed the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the northern Limpopo province last Wednesday, saying it had placed one farm in the area under quarantine to prevent the disease from spreading.


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