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South Africa Seeks End to Livestock Ban Costing Billions of Rand

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa sought to end a global ban on exports of its livestock that is costing the continent’s biggest economy billions of rand a year by asking international inspectors to declare its herds free of foot and mouth disease.

The country asked the World Organization for Animal Health to certify it free of the disease, Steve Galane, a spokesman for the agriculture department, said today by phone from Pretoria.

“Inspectors from the organization visited South Africa for 18 days from Oct. 1 to check the quality of state veterinarian services,” said Hendrik Botha, chairman of the KwaZulu-Natal Red Meat Producers’ Organisation, from his farm near Matatiele.

Exports of cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep and cows were halted in February last year when cattle near the country’s Mozambican border tested positive for the disease. Shipments of wool, initially banned, were subsequently allowed as there isn’t any production of the material in the outbreak area, Botha said.

The ban costs the South African economy about 4 billion rand ($450 million) a year, said Andre Jooste, a researcher at the state-sponsored National Agricultural Marketing Council.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jaco Visser in Johannesburg at avisser3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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