Farming cattle. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Agriculture is considering culling livestock in parts of Limpopo infected with foot and mouth disease.

It’s a desperate measure to prevent the outbreak from spreading as several of our neighbours suspend meat imports.

The department has ordered that affected animals be quarantined and vaccinations are carried out.

Spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana said: “We are looking at different options, we might be approaching Treasury for additional money so that we can cull all of those cows that have been affected. If we do so, it may mean that we may have to deal with compensation issues to the owners of these cows, but yet, we haven’t arrived at that decision.”

The department, however, says that humans who eat meat from infected animals won’t be affected but has cautioned against drinking raw milk from infected livestock.

Nkwanyana added: “Well, foot and mouth does not affect humans necessarily. Once you cook the meat at boiling point, the virus dies. It only compromises the country in the business sense because countries are very fussy, especially Europe and other parts of the world.”