BULAWAYO residents are reportedly still importing eggs from South Africa despite a recent government ban to contain the outbreak of avian influenza, Southern Eye has learnt.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Zimbabwe was hit by two outbreaks of the highly pathogenic bird flu in May and July at Lanark Farm — which is owned by the biggest chicken breeder in the country, Irvine’s — about 25km south of Harare.
As a result, more than 200 000 broiler parent stock were destroyed at the farm.
Government immediately imposed a ban on chicken and chicken product imports and mechanically deboned meat from South Africa to curb the spread of the highly contagious
South Africa also reciprocated, banning Zimbabwean chicken products.
But Zimbabwe Poultry Association chairperson, Solomon Zawe said Bulawayo residents were still importing poultry products despite the ban, thereby, exposing the country to the deadly virus.
“Despite the ban on all chicken, eggs and mechanically deboned meat from South Africa due to the avian influenza outbreak in that country, there are reports of illegal products being retailed in parts of the country,” he said.
“Retailing of South African branded table eggs have been reported in Bulawayo, chicken offals in Harare and day-old chicks from Mozambique in Mutare.
“These pose high risk of spreading avian influenza in the country and veterinary authorities encourage the public to report such activities.”
Zawe said all poultry farmers and the general public were requested to report any incidences of high mortalities of domestic or wild birds to their nearest veterinary offices.