FMD ban still in place

Namibian borders remain closed to SA meat

13 November 2019 | Agriculture

The agriculture ministry has reaffirmed that a ban on imports of meat and meat products from South Africa is still in place after the neighbouring country was hit by an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) at the beginning of the year.

Namibia suspended imports and in-transit movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa on 8 January in accordance with the Animal Health Act.

The disease was first detected in the Vhembe District of the Limpopo province in the FMD-free zone of South Africa and reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on 7 January this year.

Therefore South Africa's OIE-recognised FMD-free status was temporarily suspended.

“That ban was never lifted. The ban outlined that Namibia is only importing heat-treated animal products and milk and milk products as well as pork from FMD-free compartments in South Africa,” the ministry has said after Limpopo experienced another outbreak of FMD.

South Africa's agricultural department last week said that a positive result for FMD had been confirmed on a farm in an FMD-free zone.

Veterinary services in that country were alerted to signs and symptoms of FMD found in a herd of cattle on farm in the Molemole district on Friday, 1 November.

Samples were collected and FMD was confirmed on the same day by the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Transboundary Animal Disease Programme.

The said farm is located in the previous FMD-free zone in South Africa and has since been placed under quarantine. Further investigation to identify the strain and the likely origin of the virus is under way.

Measures have been put in place to prevent direct or indirect contact between affected and non-affected animals on the farm and investigations into the locations to which the disease may have been spread continues.

The animals and animal products that cannot be imported into or transit through Namibia include cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and antelope as well as their fresh, frozen or uncooked products that originate from South Africa.

Uncooked products of cloven-hoofed animals that are imported from other countries and processed in South Africa are also not allowed to be imported into Namibia.

Uncooked processed meat products of cloven-hoofed animals from South Africa and live cloven-hooved animals originating from that country can also not be imported into or transit through Namibia. There are certain animals and products that can be imported into Namibia, provided they are accompanied by a valid Namibian veterinary import permit and veterinary health certificate.

These include non-cloven-hoofed animals such as horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah and crocodile as well as the products of non-cloven-hoofed animals.

Under the above-mentioned conditions cooked processed meat products of cloven-hoofed animals may also be imported, as well as dry biltong and heat-treated milk and milk products of cloven-hooved animals.

Furthermore, dry salted and blue hides and skins as well as fully processed karakul pelts and fully processed trophies are also allowed to be imported into Namibia.

Imports of fresh uncooked products of cloven-hooved animals from other countries via South Africa are still permitted and semen and embryos of cloven-hooved animals from countries via South Africa are also allowed.

ELLANIE SMIT