South African Agriculture (AgriSA) deputy chairman Phineas Gumede says smallholder farmers will be affected by the suspension of cattle movements to control the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

Agriculture Minister Toko Didiza has suspended the movement of cattle in the country due to the outbreak, meaning cattle cannot be moved from one property to another for 21 days.

However, the exceptions are cattle intended for direct slaughter at registered slaughterhouses and slaughter for ritual purposes.

Gumede says they are encouraging collaboration between the government, farmers and communities to prevent the disease from spreading further.

“The main economic responsibility is based on the cattle and livestock of our small farmers. But as far as commercial farmers are concerned, it is better because cattle slaughter and slaughterhouses are still under the control of the permitting services,” Gumede says.

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