Poultry imports from Argentina and Chile suspended
The Directorate of Veterinary Services under the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Land Reform this week announced the immediate suspension of import and in-transit movement of live poultry, birds, raw/uncooked poultry products, live ostriches, and raw ostrich products from Argentina and Chile due to the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
Chief Veterinary Officer Albertina Shilongo said that since the incubation period of the disease is 14 days as set by the World Organization for Animal Health, the suspension takes effect 14 days before the start date of the event.
The event started on 24 February in Argentina and 10 March in Chile.
“Thus, consignments containing poultry products packed in their final packaging on or after the date of start of suspension will be rejected and sent back to the country of origin or destroyed at the importer’s cost,” Shilongo said.
Final packaging means cartons permanently closed and labelled with facility identification, slaughter date, and final packaging date.
According to Shilongo reefer containers will be regarded as a consignment and will be handled as an entity.
“We will not allow cartons (e.g. in the case of chicken meat) to be sorted according to the date of production. All previously issued import and in transit permits are with this cancelled and recalled with immediate effect,” she noted.
Shilongo said that cooked poultry meat products for commercial purposes may still be imported into Namibia under the veterinary import permit.