The agriculture ministry last week suspended the import and in-transit movement of live poultry, birds, and poultry products following the outbreak of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in some countries. Chief Veterinary Officer at the ministry, Albertina Shilongo said the dangerous outbreak particularly affected the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Ukraine, Belgium, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, and France.
Shilongo said the suspension replaces the veterinary notification to importers issued on 29 December 2020.
“The directorate of veterinary services would like to inform the importers about the immediate suspension of import and transit movement in those countries,” she said. Furthermore, she noted that since the incubation period of the disease is 21 days as set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the suspension took effect 21 days prior to the date of start of the announcement. “Thus, consignments containing poultry products packed in their final packaging on or after the date of start of suspension will be rejected and send back to the country of origin or destroyed at the importers’ cost,” explained Shilongo.
She added that the reefer container will be regarded as a consignment, and will be handled as an entity. “We will not allow cartons (e.g., in the case of chicken meat) to be sorted according to the date of production.”
Shilongo stressed that previously issued import and in-transit permits were cancelled and recalled with immediate effect. But she noted that cooked poultry meat products for commercial purposes may still be imported into Namibia under the veterinary import permit.