Botswana’s foot-and-mouth disease and beef trade policy

  • Published 19/04/08

The beef industry in southern Africa has been a stalwart of economic development, but new conditions of trade, market access and disease dynamics, particularly of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), mean a major rethink is required. Our research addresses key policy options to allow southern Africa to benefit from the global ‘livestock revolution’. It explores what options exist for trade, given changes in demand patterns, global competition and market access conditions, and asks who are the winners and losers of different scenarios for the future.

Botswana has always placed considerable emphasis on cattle production. Livestock production is the major agricultural activity in Botswana, which is one of the few countries in the SADC region to achieve the standards of production and health required to market beef to the EU.

One of Botswana’s most important achievements has been the successful control of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), relying on cordon fences to separate cattle from the country’s rich wildlife, which includes the major carrier and transmitter of FMD virus, African buffalo.

This is one of a series of briefings on our Veterinary Science project.