THE Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, through its veterinary department, has announced the suspension of live poultry imports from 10 European countries due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
The suspension of the import and in-transit movement of live poultry and birds affects imports from the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Ukraine, Belgium, Poland, Sweden and France.
Chief veterinary officer Dr Albertina Shilongo said in a statement that since the incubation period of the disease is 21 days, as set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the suspension will be effective from 21 days prior.
All previously issued import and in-transit permits have been cancelled and recalled with immediate effect. Cooked poultry meat products for commercial purposes can still be imported into the country under a veterinary import permit.
“The notification replaces the veterinary notification to importers that was issued in December 2020. We are informing all importers in the affected countries about the immediate suspension of imports and the in-transit movements of live poultry, birds, raw uncooked poultry products, live ostrich and raw ostrich products from all those countries due to the outbreak of HPAI in those countries,” said Shilongo.