The importation of poultry and poultry products from South Africa remains suspended as the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) is on high alert following confirmed reports of an outbreak of high pathogenic avian Influenza (HPAI) on a commercial chicken-layer farm in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng last month.
Zimbabwe is currently not importing any poultry and poultry products from South Africa and the highest possible risk of introduction of the Avian Influenza
disease into Zimbabwe will be from migratory birds and illegal trade of live poultry and poultry products.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka said South Africa confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian Influenza on a commercial chicken-layer farm in Gauteng Province.
"Avian Influenza is a highly infectious and contagious viral disease affecting several species of food producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, pet and wild birds.
"It is a transboundary disease that can be spread via migratory wild birds and mechanical vectors, such as contaminated vehicles, cages and clothing, and through international trade in poultry and poultry products," he said.
The disease can be transmitted to humans through exposure to infected birds or handling of infected carcasses. Avian flu has the potential to develop into a global pandemic that can be as devastating as COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Veterinary Services say they will continue to monitor the situation and will advise of any changes on this position.
The public and stakeholders are requested to be vigilant and to report any deaths of domestic poultry and wild birds to their nearest veterinary offices.