FMD: SAPPO compartments to play major role

“If one had any doubts that registering a pig farm as an official pig compartment was worthwhile, then the latest FMD outbreak should change producers' minds," says Dr Peter Evans, who heads consumer assurance at SAPPO.

He believes that the SAPPO compartments will play a major role in convincing South Africa’s pork trading partners to again open up their borders for South African pork, despite South Africa not been recognised as FMD free.

Immediately, after SAPPO has became aware of the FMD outbreak, pig veterinary consultants were asked to visit all pig compartments under their supervision to ensure that there were no clinical cases of FMD.

Simultaneously, blood samples were collected for serological testing at Onderstepoort. The clinical reports, coupled to serological tests, were made available to DAFF to provide proof that FMD freedom has been maintained in pig compartments and that pork derived from these compartments pose negligible risk to trading partners.

Compartments supplying export abattoirs were prioritised. “SAPPO would like to thank both the pig veterinary consultants for their rapid response and the DAFF veterinarians for communications with trading partners,” Dr Evans said.