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China food safety authority bans chicken and eggs imports from Free State

It says this is due to an outbreak of bird flu in the Matjhabeng Local Municipality and is aimed at protecting public health in Hong Kong.

FILE: A poultry farm. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – China’s Food Safety (CFS) authority has banned the import chicken and eggs from the Free State with immediate effect.

It says this is due to an outbreak of bird flu in the Matjhabeng Local Municipality and is aimed at protecting public health in Hong Kong.

The CFS says it’s contacted South African authorities over the issue and will closely monitor the information issued about avian flu.

Meanwhile, both government and the private sector have been called to urgently step up efforts to assist the poultry industry to recover from the outbreak.

The Eggbert Farm in Boksburg has lost nearly 400,000 layer hens and MEC Lebogang Maile says that both the government and the private sector must intervene and help poultry producers.

“We must optimise the limited resources that we have. We know that at the national level there’s a process to compensate in line with the law.”

Maile says experts have been deployed to affected areas to try and curb the spread of the virus.

A number of poultry producers have lost millions in revenue with some saying it may take them a couple of years to recover from the outbreak.