8 June 2017

South Africa: SA Suspends Import of Poultry Products From Zim Over Bird Flu

Photo: The Guardian Nigeria
(file photo).

South Africa has suspended imports of all poultry products from Zimbabwe after an outbreak of the H5N8 strain of bird flu was reported in the neighbouring country over the weekend.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' Veterinary Services said that it was on high alert and had "heightened inspections of all consignments, including all private and public vehicles at all our ports of entry, especially in and out of Zimbabwe".

The ministry urged farmers near the Zimbabwean border in Limpopo to remain vigilant and report any "unusual mortality of chickens or other birds to the state veterinary services immediately for samples to be collected".

Commercial farmers were called on to "increase their bio-security measures on farms, including limiting access to people who might have had contact with birds and chickens outside the farm".

Earlier this week, Botswana authorities also issued a ban on all Zimbabwean poultry products due to the bird flu virus.

The Botswana government said on Tuesday that the importation of "domesticated and wild birds, their products (meat, feathers etc) and poultry feed from Zimbabwe is banned with immediate effect".

The affected poultry farm was identified as belonging to Irvine's, a leading poultry and egg producer in Zimbabwe.

At least 7 000 of Irvine's chickens had died from the virus, and another 140 000 had been slaughtered to curb the spread of the disease.

Source: News24

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