Home International Namibia suspends poultry imports from Argentina, Chile after bird flu flare-ups

Namibia suspends poultry imports from Argentina, Chile after bird flu flare-ups

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Namibia on Wednesday announced the suspension of the import and in-transit movement of live/raw poultry, birds, and live/raw ostrich products from Argentina and Chile after outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the Latin American countries.

Albertina Shilongo, the chief veterinary officer at the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, said in a statement 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 date of start of the event — Feb. 24 in Argentina and March 10 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.

According to Shilongo, refrigerated trucking 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 hereby canceled and recalled with immediate effect,” she noted.

Shilongo, however, said that cooked poultry meat products for commercial purposes may still be imported into Namibia under the veterinary import permit.