GABORONE, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Botswana authorities on Thursday banned the importation of live cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa, following an outbreak of the highly contagious foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the South African province of Limpopo.
Letlhogile Modisa, the director of veterinary services in Botswana's Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security, decreed the ban.
As a result, Modisa said in a statement that import restrictions are imposed on live cloven-hoofed animals and their products.
"The movement of such animals and their products, originating from South Africa and transiting through Botswana, is also not allowed," said Modisa.
Furthermore, the importation of veldt grasses, bedding and animal manure, contaminated products and vehicles are also not allowed, he said.
The ban could have a serious impact on meat consumption in Botswana since the southern African country relies heavily on imports of cloven-hoofed animals from South Africa.
FMD is a highly infectious viral disease which can affect all hoofed mammals, domestic and wild.
The disease is a major threat to livestock farmers and industries and measures to contain outbreaks often include strict restrictions on movement and mass culling of animals.