AGRICULTURE NEWS - Bovine brucellosis, also known as contagious abortion, is reported across all nine provinces of South Africa, particularly in the central and Highveld regions.
The disease causes abortion in cattle, resulting in severe reproduction and production losses and drastically reducing financial turnover.
It can infect most other mammals, including humans.
Symptoms are often vague and may resemble other diseases. Frequent testing of the herd is imperative to ensure that an outbreak is detected as early as possible.
Dr Peter Oberem, CEO of Afrivet, says that because the state veterinary services’ rigorous tuberculosis and brucellosis control programmes were halted, the true extent of the disease is unknown.
“It can, however, be clearly stated that the situation is bad and a threat to food security, food safety and human health. Fortunately […], probably all the milk sold via the major dairies and chain stores is pasteurised and/or UHT, and hence safe for human consumption.”