EU Bird flu outbreak upsets Nam’s poultry imports

Niël Terblanché

THE outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Denmark and the Netherlands has caused the suspension of imports of live poultry, birds, and poultry products to Namibia.

The two European countries have borne the brunt of avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, in recent years which has led to the culling of millions of birds in the past two years, affecting the supply of poultry meat and eggs.

Namibia’s veterinary services directorate said in a statement that the suspension will affect poultry products packaged in Denmark on or after June 28 and poultry products from the Netherlands packaged on or after July 11.

“Consignments of affected poultry products will be sent back to their country of origin or destroyed at the importer’s cost,” the statement said.

Cooked poultry meat products for commercial purposes may, however, still be imported under a veterinary permit.

Namibians consume an estimated 2 500 tons of chicken every month and the country relies on imports from neighbouring South Africa, to meet the demand.

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