Rwanda bans livestock imports from South Africa over Listeriosis

Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has banned the importation of meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruits from South Africa over Listeriosis, local online newspaper, the New Times reports.

“Meat, milk and dairy products, vegetables and fruits imported from South Africa are effectively banned until Listeriosis is no longer on South Africa’s soil,’’ a statement from the ministry said.

Farmers and veterinary doctors have been advised to report any domestic animal that has the signs of the disease to the country’s agricultural board.

Listeriosis affects domestic animals such as cows and little cattle by attacking their brain. It also affects pregnant women, new-borns, the elderly and adults with with weakened immune systems

At least 36 people have been died in the last 11 months in South Africa. 557 cases have been reported in the country.

So far, South Africa’s Gauteng (62 per cent) and Cape Town (16 per cent) have the biggest number of people infected by the disease, the report said.

The country’s hotels import on average 2.4 tonnes of beef from South Africa monthly, according to information from Agriculture ministry.

Rwanda also imports about 60 tonnes of fruits, including oranges, apples, kiwis, pears and grapes, annually.