NAMIB Poultry Industries this week said the avian influenza outbreak in South Africa is not known to have had any negative effect on people.
In Namibia, to date, no cases of the avian influenza virus have been reported.
"As a company, we would like to assure all consumers that our chicken meat produced in Namibia at Namib Poultry should be regarded as safe for human consumption."
The particular strain of the virus, H5N8, which was isolated in chickens in Mpumalanga, South Africa, poses no threat to humans, and is not the same deadly strain as was isolated in Asian countries in the past, the company said in a statement.
That strain is lethal to chickens, and has a 100% mortality rate. For the safeguarding of the industry in Namibia, Namib Poultry said it is imperative that all role-players in the industry and the general public work together to prevent the disease from entering Namibia.
Fast reaction can help to isolate outbreaks as quickly as possible. "We can only succeed if a collective effort is made by everyone in all the regions."
Namib Poultry has thus urged all producers of chicken and other poultry to make sure that the following measures are taken with immediate effect:
1. Implement strict biosecurity measures on all production units.
2. The disease is most likely to spread via wild birds, thus prevent any contact with any wild avian species, and keep chickens indoors.
3. Open water sources are a serious risk as they attack and are contaminated by wild migratory birds which are the carriers of the disease.
4. It is essential that any sudden rise in mortalities of any avian species should be reported to the relevant authorities.
The company likewise encouraged the public and producers to report sightings of abnormal mortalities or dead birds to Louis Kleynhans from Namib Poultry Industries at 081 143 2324.
He will see to it that the relevant state officials are informed of the reported cases in order to contain and prevent the spreading of the disease.
"When it comes to Namib Poultry Industries chicken products, Real Good and Nam Chicken customers can be assured that Namib Poultries chicken is 100% safe for consumption as we ensure chemically-free, organic processing, thereby ensuring optimum freshness," the company stated.