04 Dec 2016 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 04 DEC (NAMPA) - The South African Government has not suspended bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) testing for cattle exported from Namibia to that country as announced earlier by the Namibian agriculture ministry.
Director of Communication Services in the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Steve Galane said in a media statement issued Wednesday South Africa's import requirements with regards to bTB testing remain in force.
His statement thus annuls a declaration issued by Acting Permanent Secretary in Namibia's Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Sophie Kasheeta on 28 November 2016 that all bTB testing for the export of cattle destined for feedlots and abattoirs in that country has been suspended.
Namibia claims to be free of TB and had submitted surveillance information to the Veterinary Authorities of South Africa which could not scientifically prove freedom from TB, reads the statement.
It further said that if the certifying vets in Namibia are confident that the herds from which the animals originate are free of TB, then they will be able to certify that requirement.
This explanation formed part of the discussions and the signed agreement following the meeting of the ministers of agriculture of Namibia and South Africa in Swaziland on 24 November 2016.
DAFF maintains that cattle destined for feedlots and slaughter in South Africa should show no sign of bovine tuberculosis on the day of shipment; originated from a herd free from bTB or were subjected to a tuberculin test for bTB with negative results during the 30 days prior to shipment; and are not being eliminated as part of an eradication programme against bTB.
Bovine tuberculosis is a major infectious disease that affects the lungs and lymph nodes of ruminants, and can spread from animals to humans via aerosols or through the consumption of unpasteurised dairy products from an infected animal.
DAFF revised import requirements applicable to imports of live cattle, sheep and goats from neighbouring countries including Namibia, which was implemented on 27 May 2016.
The requirements were meant to ensure consistency with the World Trade Organisation agreement on the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures.