19 Jan 2015 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 19 JAN (NAMPA) The ban on livestock imports to the Republic of Philippines will not have any repercussions on local farmers as the local Directorate of Veterinary Services does not certify any exports to that country.
The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has ordered the temporary ban on imports of livestock that may be susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), their products and by-products coming from Chungcheongbuk-Do in South Korea, Jiangsu in China, and the former Caprivi Region (now Zambezi) in Namibia.
According to international media reports issued last week, the temporary prohibition took effect in December 2014 to protect the health of the local livestock population, and consequently food safety in that country.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Joseph Iita said in a media statement issued last Friday that the Zambezi Region has limited marketing opportunities for its livestock and livestock products, and only matured, de-glanded and deboned beef is exported under veterinary supervision during the periods of no FMD occurrence.
There is no foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the FMD-free zone of Namibia from which beef for export to trading partners is sourced. The Directorate of Veterinary Services does not certify any exports to the Republic of Philippines, he stated.
Government was also not yet officially informed about such a decision, according to Iita.
Meanwhile, the MAWF announced FMD at the Kikya crushpen in the Linyanti Constituency of the Zambezi Region during the beginning of December 2014. The entire region as well as the Mukwe Constituency in the Kavango East Region is classified as FMD-infected zones due to the presence of large numbers of free roaming wild African Buffaloes - known reservoirs of the FMD virus.
The disease is controlled through regular vaccination and movement restrictions, but regular outbreaks of the disease occur particularly during flood seasons, or when translocation of large numbers of livestock occurs.
Iita said the ministry has made great strides in bringing the outbreak in the Linyanti Constituency under control including the compulsory vaccination of all the animals in the affected kraals. The ministry is also continuing to perform the mandatory surveillance activities in order to comply with World Animal Health (OIE) directives on FMD.
The ministry will keep the public updated on the progress of this particular outbreak, but at the same time give producers and trading partners alike the assurance that FMD in Namibia is under control, safe for this particular outbreak, and that beef and livestock exported from Namibia are subjected to a high level of veterinary inspection and supervision to ensure its safety, he added.