Imposed suspension of SA cattle imports lifted

15 Jun 2016 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 15 JUN (NAMPA) – The suspension of cattle imports from South Africa has been lifted with immediate effect following Namibia’s attainment of negligible risk status for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as ‘mad cow disease’.
Namibia is the first African country to be recognised as having an insignificant risk for mad cow disease.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) at its 84th General Session of the World Assembly approved the recognition of Namibia as having a negligible risk for the disease on 24 May 2016.
In a media statement issued on Wednesday, acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Sophia Kasheeta said new import permits to facilitate imports of live cattle from South Africa have been developed after consultation with the veterinary authorities of that country.
“Importers are hereby advised to contact the veterinary permits office in order to apply for import permits,” she said.
When MAWF made the announcement about Namibia’s status earlier this month, Kasheeta said it should motivate business communities to pursue higher value markets for livestock and livestock products, and most importantly, for the farming community to take all reasonable efforts to protect the country’s highly acclaimed livestock sector.
Mad Cow Disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease (encephalopathy) in cattle that causes a spongy degeneration of the brain and spinal cord. The disease may be most easily transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with the brain, spinal cord or digestive tract of infected carcasses.