SA poultry products completely banned

20 May 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Namibia has banned imports of poultry and poultry products from South Africa after further outbreaks of avian influenza were detected in the neighbouring country.

Chief veterinary officer Albertina Shikongo said on Monday that the import and in-transit movement of live poultry and their raw products from South Africa was immediately suspended because of the outbreak.

Bird flu was first detected at a commercial poultry farm on 9 April.

Shikongo said Namibia subsequently suspended the importation from that specific commercial farm on 15 April. Since then, South Africa has reported outbreaks at eight more commercial farms.

Since the incubation period of the disease is 21 days, the suspension is effective from 19 May. “Consignments containing poultry products packed in their final packaging on or after the date of the start of the suspension will be refused entry into Namibia,” Shikongo said.

She added that all previously issued poultry import and transit permits from South Africa were cancelled until further notice.

Namibia continues to allow the importation of poultry and their products that are transiting through South Africa originating from other countries that are avian influenza-free.



Symptoms

Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, is highly contagious to poultry and all other birds. Symptoms in poultry range from a lack of energy, appetite and coordination to purple discoloration or swelling of various body parts, diarrhoea, nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, reduced egg production or softened/deformed eggs. Sudden death ensues. At this stage, no treatment for the disease is available.

To prevent bird flu to some extent, the biodiversity on farms must be monitored. Cages must be cleaned regularly and animals outside the cages may not have access to them. If bird flu breaks out on a farm, all poultry must be destroyed and buried to prevent the spread of the disease.