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SA can continue importing poultry from the US

An agreement has been signed with US veterinary authorities for South Africa to resume importing chicken.

FILE: The trade protocol on poultry was signed on Friday as part of the African growth and opportunity act that had become a dispute between the two countries.Picture: sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has assured that the Avian Flu in the United States is not considered a risk for human health.

An agreement has been signed with US veterinary authorities, which means South Africa can resume importing chicken, which is safe for consumption.

The trade protocol was signed on Friday as part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act that had become a dispute between the two countries.

It deals with sensitive issues such as how to allow the US chicken exports to South Africa in the event of Avian Flu outbreaks, without harming local flocks.

Sapa CEO Kevin Lovell says, until recently, there had been open trade with the US.

"The US has a series of Avian Influenza outbreaks. If we are going to have a quota where they are going to have access to our markets, it's not going to help them if they can't sell chicken. So this is a protocol that will allow them to export to us even while they have an Avian Influenza outbreak."