Brucellosis is a zoonosis which means that it is an infectious disease which can be transmitted from animals to humans. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. It is primarily a disease of domestic animals (goats, pigs, cattle, dogs, etc) and humans and has a worldwide distribution, mostly now in developing countries.
Cattle affected with Brucella abortus have high incidences of abortions or weak calves, arthritic joints, and retention of the fetal membranes.
Click here to read the OIE disease card.
Bovine TB is also a zoonosis. It is a chronic wasting disease that causes considerable production losses and is caused by Mycobacterium bovis.
Click here to read the OIE disease card.
The Animal Health subprogramme of Veterinary Services conduct TB and Brucellosis testing as part of national surveillance for these 2 important diseases. If a farm is diagnosed positive for either of these diseases, state officals will step in and control the disease which will involve culling infected animals and testing until the herd is once again clean.
African horse sickness (AHS) is a highly infectious and deadly disease of equidae (horses, donkeys, mules and zebra) caused by African Horse Sickness virus which is a virus of the genus Orbivirus belonging to the family Reoviridae. AHS is not directly contagious, but is spread by the Culicoides midge.
South Africa is endemic for AHS which means that it commonly occurs throughout the country. The Western Cape contains the only AHS free zone in the country and therefore the only place that horse exports can take place from. As a result of this AHS control is strictly regulated in this province
To access the AHS control protocol brochure, click here
Rabies is caused by a virus that is able to infect all mammals including humans (a zoonosis). The disease is spread to humans by contact with infected animals. Although rabies occurs in a number of wild animal species, transfer to humans occurs via the bite of a domestic dog or cat in more than 90% of cases. The symptoms of someone infected with rabies include fever, nervous symptoms, anxiety, inability to swallow and paralysis. In the final phase of the disease the body shuts down and goes into a coma which is followed by death.
Once the rabies virus has entered the nervous system there is no cure! The only way to prevent the virus from entering the nervous system is to clean and disinfect the bite wound immediately and to receive very specific medical attention in the form of post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) so rather take the advice of the saying “prevention is better than cure”.
Click here to read the OIE disease card on rabies.
The Animal Health Technicians of Veterinary Services hold regular campaigns in various areas to vaccinate dogs and cats and to create awareness about rabies. Not only does Veterinary Services deliver this service free of charge, but they bring it right to the community, where it is most convenient for people who do not have the means to transport their animals to the local vet.
The Provincial Veterinary Laboratory at Helderfontein, Stellenbosch renders an extensive diagnostic service to the livestock, poultry, ostrich and aquaculture industries and a supporting service to other provincial and national Departments.
A wide spectrum of tests is conducted in the bacteriology, virology, parasitology and biochemistry sections of the laboratory. The laboratory has implemented a computerized laboratory information system (LIMS) that will greatly enhance the capturing and availability of data on all the functions performed. A satellite veterinary laboratory at Beaufort West also renders an extensive diagnostic service within the Karoo region.
The Provincial laboratory is in the process of obtaining ISO 17025 accreditation. This will facilitate international recognition and the maintenance of a high standard of service delivery.
Samples sent to the Veterinary Laboratory for testing must be accompanied by a registration form, which can be obtained at the laboratory, or downloaded from the forms tab next to contact details above.
Please consult this specimen submission guideline for more information on sample requirements and turn around times for the various tests.
The subprogramme Veterinary Public Health of Veterinary Services is responsible for food safety inspections especially at abattoirs, processing plants and dairy establishments.
Animal products usually require a veterinary export certificate before being allowed to enter another country.
This export certification is the assurance by the relevant role-players in the exporting country to the relevant role-players in the importing country that the animal or product complies with the requirements of the importing country.