Only a week after the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the SA Ostrich Business Chamber and the EU met to restore credibility to the South African ostrich meat industry, South Africa's ostrich exports to the EU was dealt a blow when six birds tested positive for avian influenza in Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo, Business Report says.
Last year, Ostrich meat exports to Europe were banned as well. Before this ban, exports stood at R108 million.
Business Day reported that a fresh positive test result for the H5N2 avian flu virus in the Klein Karoo has dashed hope the industry could resume trade this month with the European Union (EU), its biggest ostrich export market. Positive results were found on a farm near De Rust, east of Oudtshoorn, in an area that had previously been virus-free. South African Ostrich Business Chamber interim CEO Piet Kleyn said yesterday (Tuesday) that the test result came after the eighth round of tests in February since the virus was first detected on a farm near Oudtshoorn in April last year.
The Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries spokesman Selby Bokaba told Business Report that experts at the workshop believed that the industry had to be restructured for sustainability. However, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture said it would need about a year to put in place recommendations made by an EU delegation to South Africa, including restricting the birds' movements and disinfecting trucks to abattoirs.
All Africa . com