For now, the ban on the movement of live cattle might not have an effect on our weekend braai, but come Christmas we might all be singing a different tune.
The aim of South Africa’s ban is to stop the spread of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD). The ban has been instated countrywide and is intended to last 21 days.
The ban prohibits the moving of live cattle, but it doesn’t include slaughtering.
Whether the ban will be lifted again after 21 days is unclear at this stage.
According to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the country currently has 116 outbreaks of FMD. The provinces affected include KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
It’s believed that consumers won’t necessarily feel the impact of the ban at this stage because it’s not really braai season.
With warmer weather approaching as September and spring approaches, more braais will take place and more consumers will want to buy red meat.
Business Insider reports that experts have warned that much will depend on when, exactly, the movement ban is lifted. Prices should drop down when cattle may be moved again, and will likely increase if the cattle lockdown is extended. But should it be lifted too soon and the disease spreads further, price-spiking shortages of beef would be possible.
Image credit: Bloomberg