European Union lifts ban on importation of South African ostrich meat
2 November 2006
The European Union informed South Africa that it accepts the countryís status as free
from Highly Pathogenic Notifiable Avian Influenza (HPNAI). The export of fresh ostrich
meat can therefore resume as from (today) 1 November 2006, according to the new ostrich
protocol. This protocol allows for compartmentalization of the ostrich industry and
involves testing within 28 days prior to slaughter, with negative results.
The decision by the EU is the result of the successful eradication of the active outbreak
of H5N2 in ostriches in the Southern Cape in July 2006. No further isolations or
identification of the highly pathogenic virus could be made.
Extensive surveillance is, continuing throughout the country in all commercial ostriches,
commercial and non-commercial chickens. Chickens have remained negative for the H5N2 virus,
at all times.
This breakthrough in negotiations with the EU is a result of continuous and transparent
communication between South African and EU officials.
The Department of Agriculture and the Directorate of Animal Health greatly appreciates the
collaboration, assistance and effort of the Ostrich Business Chamber and the Western Cape
Veterinary Services in this matter.
Source: Department of Agriculture