Zim bird flu: SA suspends all trade in light poultry meet, eggs

The H5N8 strain of the bird flu virus has killed at least 715,000 chickens in the Mashonaland province.

Chicken. Picture: sxc.hu

JOHANNESBURG – The Agriculture Department says South Africa suspended all trade in light poultry meat and eggs from Zimbabwe after news of a bird flu outbreak in the east of Harare.

The H5N8 strain has killed at least 715,000 chickens in the Mashonaland province.

Botswana and Mozambique have also banned poultry imports from Zimbabwe.

The South African Poultry Association has raised concern over the possibility of the country losing 140 million chickens to the virus.

But the agriculture ministry's Bomikazi Molapo says there is no cause for concern.

“We received notification last week Friday on 2 June and immediately we suspended all trade in light poultry meat and eggs from Zimbabwe. South Africa imports very little product from Zimbabwe and importers were immediately notified that all permits were to be scrapped with immediate effect.”