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Namibia Temporarily Bans Spanish Poultry, Botswana Beef

By: Justicia Shipena

The ministry of agriculture in the directorate of veterinary services has announced a suspension of imports and in-transit movement of live poultry, birds and poultry products from Spain.

The decision follows after the country’s highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak.

“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 Spain due to the outbreak of Avian Influenza (HPAI) in that country,” said chief veterinary officer Albertina Shilongo.

According to Shilongo, the suspension takes effect 14 days before the date of the start of the event.

“In this case, the event was detected on 01 August 2022; the suspension is, therefore, effective from 18 July 2022,” she said.

She explained that consignments containing poultry products packed in their final packaging on or after the start of suspension would be rejected and sent back to the country of origin or destroyed at the importer’s cost.

“A reefer container will be considered a consignment and handled as an entity.”

Shilongo stated that Namibia would also not allow cartons in case of chicken meat to be sorted according to the date of production, adding that previously issued import and in transit permits are cancelled and recalled.

However, she said cooked poultry products for commercial purposes may still be imported into Namibia under the veterinary import permit.

In April this year, Namibia also suspended imports of live poultry, birds and poultry products from the United States due to the avian influenza outbreak.

At that time, consignments of poultry products packed from 15 January were also rejected, returned, or destroyed at the importers’ cost.

Meanwhile, the ministry also suspended imports of cloven-hoofed animals from Botswana due to the suspicion of foot and mouth disease.

This comes as Botswana has imposed a countrywide movement standstill of all Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) susceptible animals and their raw products, including their exports to other countries, until further notice.

“Imports of all FMD susceptible animals, their raw products and other potentially infectious materials such as straw, forage, lucerne and other livestock feed from Botswana have been suspended with immediate effect and until further notice,” said Shilongo.

Shilongo said all previously issued veterinary import permits are also cancelled and recalled.

However, she said that transit of raw livestock products and livestock feed through Botswana intended for Namibia is allowed, provided that transporting vehicles are sealed.

“The seals remain intact while conveying through Botswana.”

On 11 August, Namibia suspended importing and in-transit cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa into Namibia.

It was reported that the increasing FMD outbreak in South Africa influenced the decision.

On the same day, it was reported that South Africa had 110 open FMD outbreaks in the previous FMD-free zone detected from 13 June to 5 August.

FMD is a viral disease which causes lesions and lameness in cattle, sheep and other cloven-hoofed animals but does not affect people.

Among the products banned were fresh or frozen pork, uncooked processed pork, raw meat, bovine embryos and semen, raw meat including pork, uncooked processed meat, embryos and semen, grass, forages, lucerne and silage, as well as other FMD potentially infectious materials.

Shilongo, at that time, said Namibia was considering disinfecting the trucks from South Africa delivering live cattle.

In a statement, the agriculture ministry said there would be disinfection of all trucks in the livestock business before entering Namibia.

In February this year, Namibia lifted the movement restrictions of cloven-hoofed animals and products imposed following successful control and containment of the FMD, which was detected in the Zambezi region in May last year.

At that time, intensive disease surveillance conducted by the directorate of veterinary services showed that the last confirmed FMD case was reported on 4 November 2021 in the Zambezi region.

In 2015, there was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the north of Namibia. It was the worst case in 40 years, and the outbreak spread to over three regions in less than five months.

In the same year, a total of 14 regions in the northern communal areas reported FMD cases from January to June 2015.

The outbreak cost N$180 million to control, and Namibia was declared free of the disease in January 2016.




Justicia Shipena

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