Let us work together to control the disease!

S.Y. Mangera 

oot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is caused by a germ called a virus.This germ is found in all body secretions of infected animals (saliva, urine, faeces, milk and even droplets from sneezing and snorting).

Animals get sick from FMD when eating or breathing in the germs from these body secretions.

Now read the story of two farmers ...



The farmers of Jikalele held a meeting on foot-and-mouth disease.

After the meeting Mr Mabena is very worried and thinks about moving his cattle. Mr Shabalala is also worried and thinks that he should have his cattle tested for FMD.


Mr Mabena's story

M r Mabena's cattle have FMD but he does not know this and decides to move his 
cattle out of the FMD area. He sneaks away in the middle of the night.

He travels throughout South Africa and spreads the virus wherever he goes.

Mr Mabena is caught. His cattle are taken away and destroyed because they have FMD. 
Mr Mabena gets no compensation because he broke the law by moving his cattle out of an FMD area illegally. He has spread FMD to cattle in many other areas and people are very angry with him.

South Africa can no longer trade with other countries because they believe that 
our meat is infected with FMD.


Mr Shabalala's story

Mr Shabalala calls the local veterinary services to come and test his cattle for FMD.

Unfortunately Mr. Shabalala's cattle have FMD and they are taken away. He is given the option between taking new cattle or taking money as compensation for losing his cattle.

Mr Shabalala now has his new cattle.

Foot-and-mouth disease did not spread throughout the country because Mr Shabalala worked together with the veterinary services to try and control this disease. 
South Africa is therefore still able to trade with other countries.



For further information contact your local animal health technician, state/private veterinarian

Animal Health for Developing Farmers
ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute
Private Bag X05, Onderstepoort 0110



Compiled by Directorate Communication, Department of Agriculture
in cooperation with
ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute

Printed and published by Department of Agriculture
and obtainable from Resource Centre, Directorate Communication
Private Bag X144, Pretoria 0001, South Africa

Illustrations by C D Seegers

This publication is available on the web at:


Information provided by
Animal Health for Developing Farmers
ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute
Private Bag X05, Onderstepoort 0110