Namibia, SA ban Botswana beef

South Africa’s Agriculture Department spokesman Steve Galane said a six to eight week quarantine period applied to all animal products imported into South Africa. Namibia’s Acting Director of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Dr Frans Joubert, said the country had stepped up inspections and patrols at the borders. Joubert could not predict how long the ban would be in place, but such bans usually remained in effect for at least six months. This would have a serious effect on Botswana’s meat industry, which is a major contributor to that country’s economy. For South Africa, the number of officials along the borders of Botswana, Limpopo and North West had been increased to prevent any illegal introduction of cloven-hoofed animals or their products from Botswana. Botswana’s veterinary authorities had informed SA about a suspected outbreak near the meeting points of the borders of Botswana, SA and Zimbabwe, the department said. “Laboratory confirmation of the disease outbreak has not been received yet by the Botswana veterinary authorities,” Galane said. The spokesman said South African veterinary officials had been placed on full alert to monitor the situation. The Botswana outbreak at the time of going to the press was so far limited to cattle although foot-and-mouth can easily spread to small stock and antelopes. Namibia’s ban on pork imports from Brazil was still effective due to the foot-and-mouth outbreak that has been plaguing the South American country since last year while a ban on pork imports from South Africa’s Western Cape province due to swine fever still stands. According to Joubert the pork from other parts of South Africa ‘ if certified free of swine fever ‘ is acceptable.

May 2006
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