Photographed during the Stock Theft and Foot-and-Mouth Disease Awareness event held at the Jack Botes Hall in Polokwane are local farmer Mr Emannuel Mudau (left) of Mathuba Genetics and the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Thabo Mokone (right). Photo supplied.
On Tuesday, 14 November, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development hosted a Stock Theft and Foot-and-Mouth Disease Awareness event at the Jack Botes Hall in Polokwane.
MEC Thabo Mokone warned people that buying stolen livestock is a crime and that they can get arrested for it. “We are planning operations, starting from now onwards, and roadblocks will be conducted. We are working hand in hand with the police, farmers, the community, and forums.”
Mokone said they would also be working with law-enforcement authorities to monitor the movement of animals to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease to other parts of the province. The department urged farmers and livestock owners to abide by the movement restrictions in place in all the affected areas to prevent the further spread of the virus.
According to Mokone, signs of the disease may include depressed animals, sores in the animals’ mouths causing reluctance to eat, and lameness. “Any suspected cases of the disease must be reported immediately to the local state veterinarian. Affected areas are under quarantine, and no movement of animals and animal products is allowed. We’re in an understanding that we must cooperate with each other here. We will not allow movement until we are satisfied. There might be those who, when they think nobody is watching, will try to manoeuvre and sell animal products to each other, but we will be watching and beef up our team,” said Mokone.
Farmers around Limpopo expressed their concerns about the increased livestock theft in their villages and farms, saying that the problem would never be solved as many police members were also involved in these criminal operations.
One of the local farmers who attended the event, Mr Emmanuel Mudau of Mathuba Genetics, said they were afraid to get too deeply involved or report corrupt police officers, fearing that something bad might happen to them or their families. “We as farmers need to upgrade our security. We are losing all our goats and cattle. People are no longer stealing because they want to eat. Stock theft has now become a business - people don’t steal only one cow,” he said.
Mudau also appealed to the government to assist them in vaccinating their livestock.
Date:18 November 2023
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror in 2000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.