January 9, 2019 / 2:11 PM / 7 days ago

Namibia suspends meat imports from South Africa over foot and mouth disease

A farmer with his herd of cattle at his farm in Senekal, about 287km (178 miles) in the Eastern Free State, in this February 29, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Namibia has suspended meat imports from South Africa due to the outbreak of the highly contagious foot and mouth disease, state broadcaster, NBC, said on Wednesday.

The disease, which causes lesions and lameness in cattle and sheep, was detected in a northern district of Limpopo province, South Africa’s agriculture department announced this week.

Quoting acting Chief Veterinary Officer Albertina Shilongo, NBC said the suspension would take immediate effect.

Foot and mouth disease does not affect people but poses a threat to cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, goats and sheep.

Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; editing by Jason Neely

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