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While farmers were able to manage the rising feed costs in the past two years to an extent, the current season has presented new challenges — a vast outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease as well as continued occurrences of swine flu and avian flu outbreaks.

SA has had 91 foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in previously disease-free zones. The disease has for the first time in history spread outside the demarcated foot-and-mouth disease zone and is now active in five provinces: Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, the North West, Gauteng and the Free State.

South Africa’s livestock industry is constrained by biosecurity challenges | Wandile Sihlobo