18 November 2020
Embargo: For Immediate Release
Attention: News/Assignment Editors, Political Reporters, Reporters
From: KZN Legislature Communications Unit
RE: KZN LEGISLATURE’S AGRICULTURE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE CALLS ON FARMING COMMUNITIES TO BE VIGILANT AGAINST BRUCELLA BACTERIA
KwaZulu-Natal Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development has warned communities living in areas where there has been an outbreak of brucella bacteria to be vigilant when dealing with suspicious animals.
Brucella Bacteria is an animal-borne disease which causes abortion, infertility, reduced milk production and weakened joints in bovine animals and infected people.
Brucellosis is primarily a cattle disease but may affect most other mammals, including humans. Humans who are at risk of contracting the disease are people who work with animals such veterinarians, farmers, farm workers and abattoir employees.
The Portfolio Committee has noted the intervention of the provincial department of Agriculture and Rural Development which has embarked on a campaign to vaccinate animals in affected districts and educate communities affected by the bacteria.
“Agriculture has been identified as a key driver in ensuring food security and radical economic development in the province. We need to work together to deal with anything which seeks to threaten our agricultural potential such as the Brucella bacteria. We urge our communities to co-operate with departmental officials and attend information sharing sessions so that they understand the bacteria and know how to identify its symptoms,” said Committee Chairperson Honourable Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha.
The portfolio committee will monitor the department’s intervention strategies as part of its oversight exercise on the department.
The committee also sends out its deepest sympathies to the farmers who have lost their livestock.
“We understand that most farmers are dependent on this livestock for their livelihood. It is for this reason that we appeal to the farmers to co-operate with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development so that they will be familiar with protocols to be followed to minimise the impact of this outbreak,’ said Sibhidla-Saphetha.
Issued by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development Hon NN Sibhidla-Saphetha Cell No: 0833013622.
For media inquiries please contact Committee Media Officer Wonder Hlongwa at 0829083532