Botswana will kill almost 10,000 cows and destroy their bodies after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. The country is a top beef exporter to the European Union; yearly, it exports about 9,000 tonnes of beef to the EU.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease. Infected cows can get a high fever lasting two to six days, followed by blisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may break and cause pain.
Assistant minister of agriculture Molebatsi Molebatsi told news agency AFP that 9,757 cows will be killed in northeastern villages bordering neighbour Zimbabwe. He said that the number of infected cows “keeps on increasing”.
Namibia announced it suspended beef and other meat products from Botswana a month ago. “Imports of all FMD susceptible animals, their raw products and other potential infectious materials such as straw, forage, lucerne and their livestock feed from Botswana has been suspended… until further notice,” Namibia’s agriculture ministry said.