Poultry imports from 10 European countries banned

18 January 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER



WINDHOEK

The importation of live bird species and poultry products into Namibia from at least 10 European countries has been suspended.

This announcement comes following an outbreak of the Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Europe late last year.

The countries affected by the suspension are the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Ukraine, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, Denmark and France. Over 300 cases were reported in these countries between October and November 2020.

“The Directorate of Veterinary Services would like to inform importers about the immediate suspension of import and in transit movement of live poultry, birds, raw/uncooked poultry products, live ostriches and raw ostrich products from the mentioned countries due to the outbreak of HPAI in poultry in these countries,” veterinary chief Dr Albertina Shoopala announced.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, the majority of the detections were in wild birds, although there have been a handful of outbreaks in poultry.

At the time, European authorities warned that the likelihood of the virus spreading from wild birds to poultry was high.

Consignments to be rejected

The agriculture ministry announced last week that consignments containing poultry products packed in their final packaging on or after the date of the commencement of the suspension will be rejected and sent back to the country of origin or destroyed at the importer’s cost.

“Please note that a reefer container will be regarded as a consignment, and will be handled as an entity. We will not allow cartons to be sorted according to date of production,” Shilongo said.

She also indicated that all previously issued import and in transit permits are cancelled with immediate effect.

“We have suspended the importation and also in-transit movements of all live birds and poultry products from South Africa. The suspension comes a result of a notification from South Africa on the outbreak of HPAI in that country,” she said.

The outbreak is anticipated to affect Namibia as many traders source their poultry supply from South Africa.

According to her, provision will only be made for cooked poultry meat products meant for commercial purposes.

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