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RESUMPTION OF OSTRICH MEAT EXPORTS

2 November 2006

"The peak season for consumption of ostrich meat in Europe has just started and thus the South African ostrich industry is grateful that the ban on exports of this healthy and sought-after red meat had been lifted as from 1 November", said Anton Kruger, Chief Executive Officer of the South African Ostrich Business Chamber.

South Africa is the world leader in terms of the ostriches industry and produces about 70% of all ostrich products world wide. More than 90% of the products are being exported.

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 virus could be made, and extensive surveillance is continuing throughout the country. The only condition stipulated by the EU is that all ostriches are tested for Avian Influenza 28 days before slaughter.

This breakthrough in negotiations with the EU is a result of continuous and transparent communication between South African and EU officials.

The SAOBC expresses its appreciation and gratitude towards Western Cape Veterinary Services and the national Department of Agriculture with its Directorate of Animal Health. "We have seen in previous disease control projects that the Private-Public-Partnership approach seems to be the most effective route", Kruger said.

Source: South African Ostrich Business Chamber

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