All farmers are requested to urgently vaccinate their animals against anthrax. This includes cattle, sheep and goats. Anthrax also occurs within game and under no circumstances must venison of infected game, be consumed.
Farmers must also be very cautious when buying in new animals and ensure that the animals are disease-free. The movement of animals (live stock and game) must as far as possible be avoided and if any mortalities occur, the carcass must be handled with the utmost care and it must under no circumstances be cut open.
This follows after an outbreak of anthrax has been confirmed near Maseru in Lesotho. In this case, humans also got infected with the disease after the carcasses have been cut open and eaten.
A ten kilometer radius has been quarantined. Farmers from Ha-Tseka were warned not to take their products to a Maseru trade fair. Even animal movement between the Free State and Lesotho will be restricted and no trade will be allowed.
The areas affected includes Ladybrand in the Maseru-zone, Zastron, Wepener, Maputsoe, Botha Bothet and Thabo Mofutsanyane.
Anthrax is a highly contagious and infectious soil-borne disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a relatively large spore-forming bacteria that can infect mammals.
Animals are infected with anthrax when they eat contagious plant materials, water or even the bones of dead animals. Animals who contract the disease show the following symptoms: they don’t eat; there is a decline in milk production; milk may be bloody; breathing is contracted and they often lay down.
Mortalities may occur within 72 hours after infection occurred. In some cases, blood is released from the anus and nasal cavity.
Every milliliter blood contains millions of the anthrax bacteria and this blood infects the environment. The bacteria can survive for as long as 250 years in the environment in the form of a spore. Spores are formed when the infected bodily fluids come in contact with oxygen. For this reason, an anthrax carcass may under no circumstances be opened.
Humans who contract anthrax, develop a skin form of the disease if the wounds are infected; a lung version when they inhale the spores and a gut form of the disease when infected meat is consumed. The lung version is the most lethal.
According to legislation (Act 35 of 1984), it is compulsory to vaccinate all animals annually against Anthrax.
Control of anthrax in animals
– Animals must annually be vaccinated against the disease.
– Carcasses of animals that may have died from anthrax must not be cut open.
– Such carcasses must be buried at least two meters deep and the ground must be comprehensively treated with calcium chloride.
– Carcasses can also be burned.
– Suspicious cases must be reported to the nearest state veterinarian.
– The state veterinarian may prescribe methods to disinfect the area, vehicles and other products.
Control of anthrax in humans
– The meat of infected carcasses must not be eaten.
– All contact with the carcass of an animal who has died from anthrax, must be avoided.
– Protected clothing must be worn when the carcasses are buried or burned.
– Animals may die within two hours without displaying any clinical symptoms.
– Difficulty in breathing.
– Muscle spasms and red mucosa.
– Bloody discharge from the nose, mouth and anus.
– In advanced cases, the head and neck may be swollen.
– Anthrax is diagnosed with a blood monster.
– ooo O ooo –
Date : 29 May 2019
Mr Koos van der Ryst Mr Gerhard Schutte
Chairman Chief Executive Officer
Cell : 083 303 7926 Cell : 082 556 7296