S.A.’s neighbours suspend imports of poultry amid avian flu crisis
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 28 June 2017| 03 Shawaal 1438
There were no further outbreaks on Tuesday of the highly contagious avian flu that has infected two farms in the country, but Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana announced that they had suspended poultry imports from SA with immediate effect.
SA and Mozambique banned poultry imports from Zimbabwe this month after a bird flu outbreak there.
Botswana, which only imports 5% of its poultry needs, said it would no longer buy poultry meat, processed products or feeds from SA.
“The restriction is a precautionary measure to avoid equal infection here as well as protect our people,” Agriculture Minister Patrick Ralotsia said.
Zimbabwe imposed a similar ban, while Namibia has also halted imports from Belgium, which experienced an outbreak of bird flu earlier this year.
The first outbreak in SA of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 was at one of the poultry breeding facilities belonging to Astral Foods in the Villiers district in the Free State. The company confirmed the outbreak on Tuesday.
“Following on from the initial outbreak, abnormal mortality was reported on another site on the same farm over the past weekend, and in light of the risk posed by this disease to Astral’s operations and the greater poultry industry, a decision was taken to depopulate all laying sites on this farm.
“This decision affected close on 150,000 broiler breeders representing approximately 6% of Astral’s total breeding stock,” Astral Foods MD for agriculture Gary Arnold said.
The company was doing everything in its power to contain the outbreak, he said. Action was taken “to replace the lost hatching-egg production from this farm by extending the production of all other breeding capacity and tapping into hatching-egg stocks”, Arnold said.
Other infected sites had been disinfected.
Source – Business live