RECORDING | Foot and Mouth Disease-Practical considerations

By Food Focus on 22 August 2022


The Dairy Standard Agency acts as the independent organization of the organised dairy industry with its members, MPO and Sampro.

The main purpose of DSA is to promote the improvement of quality of milk and other dairy products in the interest of the consumer and the industry. One of the 17 projects of the DSA is “Information and Education” which deals with webinars covering the entire dairy value chain.

In view of the current high importance of FMD, it is appropriate for industry members to remain well informed regarding this highly contagious disease. Come listen to our experts addressing the following: 

  • Introduction to FMD, causative organism, prevalence, mortality etc;
  • The importance of proactive measures to be taken by industry members in terms of risk mitigation;
  • Actions and responsibilities by industry if there are reason to suspect (as prescribed under sec 11 under the Animal Diseases Act) as well as at the time of an FMD outbreak (directives from DAH) 


Download FMD from a veterinary perspective DSA 20220826 BJA du Plessis.pdf
Download FMDV Pathogenesis Milk producers Dr Francois Maree.pdf



Jompie Burger
Managing Director, Dairy Standard Agency

Jompie achieved a Diploma in Public Health at the Technicon Pretoria.

Practising as an Environmental Health Practitioner he furthered his studies and obtained a Btech Environmental Health as well as a BA in Public Administration. 

During the time of holding the position of Assistant Head of Health Services at the City Council of Springs he extended his field of expertise to food safety which included further studies in food safety management systems. 

After ending his career at the local authority in 1999 he became involved in product development, experienced life as owner of an artisanal cheese factory, worked as a food safety consultant for various brand names in the food industry as well as external food safety auditor in the retail sector. 

In 2005 he became involved in the organised dairy industry by managing various statutory projects on behalf of the Dairy Standard Agency (DSA).

He is currently the Managing Director of the DSA, an independent non-profit organisation, which primary objective is to promote dairy quality and safety in the interest of the industry and the consumer. He serves on several Milk SA advisory committees and technical committees of organisations such as the SABS and the International Dairy Federation (IDF). 

Dr  Francois Maree
Specialist Researcher, Transboundary Animal Diseases facility - ARC-OVI

Dr Francois Maree obtained his PhD degree in 2001 at the University of Pretoria.

He joined the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in 2003 as Contract Researcher focussing on the development of improved recombinant vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) specific for different geographic regions in South Africa.

The research group that Dr Maree established after his appointment as Senior Researcher continued to focus on studies aiming to improve FMD vaccines using recombinant DNA technologies and reverse genetics.

They have made several research contributions towards the custom-engineering and structural design of improved FMD vaccines, development of recombinant antibody technology for use in FMD diagnostics and investigated the tissue tropism of FMDV in buffalo which plays a role in the persistence of the virus in this host species.

Dr Maree was appointed as Specialist Researcher at the Transboundary Animal Diseases facility of the ARC-OVI in 2015 and continued the work on viral persistence and transmission of FMD in buffalo.

As part of his duties as the OIE designated expert for FMD in southern Africa, Dr Maree reported the disease status to the OIE and assisted DALRRD with diseases investigations during FMD outbreaks. Dr Maree also served as chairperson of the Global FMD Research Alliance (GFRA).

Dr  Ben du Plessis
Deputy Director, Animal Health and FMD Coordinator, DALRRD

Dr Ben du Plessis achieved his BVSc degree in 1985.  He was from 1985-1996 State Veterinarian in KaNgwane / Mpumalanga.  He is currently the Deputy Director Animal Health and FMD coordinator at DALRRD Mpumalanga.

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