3 countries bordering South Africa have imposed bans on poultry imports following the discovery of 2 cases of high pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus.
Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana all suspended poultry imports from South Africa following the outbreaks on at least 2 farms.
It comes after South Africa and Mozambique banned poultry imports from Zimbabwe earlier this month after a bird flu outbreak there.
Reuters reported Botswana Agriculture Minister Patrick Ralotsia saying that it would no longer buy poultry meat, processed products and feed from South Africa.
“The restriction is a precautionary measure to avoid equal infection here as well as to protect our people,” he said.
South Africa poultry producer said the affected birds on its holding were breeding stock and not broilers for meat production.
Chris Schutte, Astral Foods (a leading South African integrated poultry producer) CEO, said: “Should further breeding operations be affected by this HPAI strain, Astral does have limited surplus capacity to buffer such incidents.
“We would also draw on our contingency planning to its full extent which incorporates our international poultry breeding partner and the sourcing of hatching eggs and/or poultry livestock to ensure uninterrupted supply within Astral’s poultry value chain.”
Astral reminded stakeholders that the H5N8 virus was widespread across Europe – spread by migratory wild birds.
Namibia has also banned poultry products from Belgium, which had a case of H5N8 virus earlier this year.