The number of livestock dying from the Rift Valley Fever (RVF) that affected Seribe Crush in Ramotswa is declining, the Department of Veterinary Services has confirmed.
Following research done to gauge the extent of RVF, it has emerged that only a small number of cattle, sheep and goats have either died or have aborted. The disease, which broke out in June this year, has not spread beyond Seribe Crush.
Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Kgosietsile Phillemon-Motsu, said despite costs arising from vaccination, reduced sales, deaths and abortions, the impact has not been as severe as would have been feared. The development has allayed apprehension that the livestock industry would be affected, and that international trade, mainly to the European Union (EU) market, would be hampered.
The research indicates that only three out of 1,988 cattle were at the risk of death; nine out of 712 sheep faced the same risk, while 181 goats out of 4,523 risked danger. In terms of abortion for the animals, the numbers stood at 31 out of 1,988 for cattle, six out of 712 for sheep and 129 out of 4,523 for goats.
Phillemon-Motsu said these figures were for Ramotswa Extension where RVF was confirmed; hence it was reasonable to attribute the deaths and abortions to the disease.
Government spent P1, 130, 000 on vaccinations.
Livestock movement has now been freed up within, into or out of Kgatleng District, South East District and Goodhope Sub District but only under the submission of a permit for the administration of RVF vaccination.
RVF disease is known for its cyclic nature, occurring as it does in intervals of up to 10 years. A close watch of the spread of the RVF is still ongoing and farmers have been strongly advised to report any cases of abortion or death that may arise countrywide.
Against the 18 cases of livestock death reported in June, the study shows no corresponding cases of death in humans.