Foot-and-mouth disease

Department: Agriculture
Directorate Veterinary Services
ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute


Consumer concerns



People cannot normally get foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) by consuming meat and milk.

It only affects cloven-hoofed (two-toed) animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, buffalo and all types of antelope.

Horses, cats and dogs cannot get the disease.

People and animals can carry this disease to susceptible animals such as cattle or pigs. Therefore, try not to visit restricted areas (Camperdown vicinity in KwaZulu-Natal and Middelburg vicinity in Mpumalanga).

Meat and dairy products are safe to consume. It is always advisable to buy from a reputable dealer and not from the street.

If you are going on holiday, be aware of the following:

There will be roadblocks in certain parts of the country to prevent FMD from spreading to susceptible animals in other areas.

This is to prevent infected animals or animal products from leaving FMD-infected areas.

There will be no problem if you are transporting meat for own consumption as long as it is from an FMD-free area such as Gauteng, Northern Province, North West, Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and the FMD-free areas of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. It is advised that your meat is prepackaged and accompanied by an original invoice as proof of purchase.

Foot-and-mouth disease is of international importance, therefore, let us work together to control this disease


For further information contact our
toll-free number 0800 007017
(between 7:30 and 16:00 Monday to Friday)


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

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