EU lifts SA ostrich meat ban

SOUTH AFRICA - The European Union Wednesday lifted a two-year ban on South African ostrich meat imposed after bird flu fears which led to the culling of tens of thousands of birds, the agriculture ministry said.
calendar icon 2 November 2006
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“The European Union informed South Africa that it accepts the country’s status as free from highly pathogenic notifiable avian influenza,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The export of fresh ostrich meat can therefore resume as from 1 November 2006,” under a new protocol which stipulates that ostriches be tested within 28 days before they are slaughtered for any trace of the disease, it said.

The ministry said the lifting of the ban was “the result of the successful eradication of the active outbreak of H5N2 in ostriches in the Southern Cape in July 2006.” The H5N2 strain can prove lethal for birds but poses no threat to humans.

“No further isolations or identification of the highly pathogenic virus could be made,” it added.
South Africa, the world’s top exporter of ostrich meat, culled tens of thousands of ostriches in the Oudtshoorn area of the scrubland Karoo which tested positive for the HN52 variety.


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