Cobus van Bosch

Cattle used for the production of serum during the rinderpest in Kimberley, 1897. (Oil on canvas, 40cm x 60cm, 2013).
Source: Western Cape Archives

The rinderpest (cattle plague) spread from the north of Africa and broke out in South Africa for the first time in 1896. It devastated cattle herds and farming communities in large parts of the country before a method of immunisation was developed in the Kimberley region in 1897. By the end of 1898 the disease was more or less under control, but not after it finally claimed more than 2,5 million animals in South Africa alone.