Botswana loosens total ban on imports of cloven-hoofed animal, meat products from South Africa

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GABORONE, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Botswana on Wednesday loosened the total ban on the imports of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa.

Botswana's Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security said in a statement that the ban has been loosened but imports are under strict supervision "to avoid incidents of the highly virulent disease into our country and disturb the beef industry's anticipated growth this year."

On Jan. 10, Botswana authorities banned the importation of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa following a confirmation of an outbreak of the highly contagious foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the South African province of Limpopo.

"Live cloven-hoofed animals from South Africa can be allowed into the country, as long as they are not from the affected province of Limpopo," said the ministry.

In addition, ready-to-eat products such as cooked meat, tinned beef, polony and yogurt are now allowed to be imported. Processed and unprocessed animal feeds are also allowed.

FMD is an extremely infectious viral disease which can affect all cloven-hoofed mammals, both domestic and wild.

The disease is a major threat to livestock farmers and industries. Measures to contain outbreaks often include strict restrictions on movement and mass culling of animals. Enditem

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