The South African Ostrich Business Chamber (SAOBC) with endorsement of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), enlisted the support of internationally-recognised Avian Influenza experts to assess the current situation in the SA ostrich industry and advise on the sustainability of the industry. The primary reason for this is related to the current crisis in the industry, where the export of ostrich meat from SA has been banned since April 2011 due to the outbreak of the H5N2 Avian Influenza. After evaluating the current situation, the experts advised that the industry must be restructured in order to be sustainable. The biggest changes that would have to be implemented are to limit movement of ostriches and implementing stricter bio-security measures on farms. The density of ostriches, in certain areas will have to be reduced.
The experts have stressed that the ostrich industry, in partnership with government, must ensure a reliable and sustainable disease control system in the interest of other susceptible birds and also in order to resume meat exports.
Meat exports cannot resume at this stage and it is not clear when exports will resume. The resumption of meat exports will be negotiated with the trading partners (EU), once the identified shortcomings in the current system have been addressed and recommendations implemented.
Officials from the provincial and national Veterinary Services also attended the week-long meetings and discussions and the SAOBC has expressed its gratitude towards Government for its involvement.
Enquiries Piet Kleyn
Tel 044 272 3336
Fax 044 272 3337
Source: SOUTH AFRICAN OSTRICH BUSINESS CHAMBER
Article Date: 1 March 2012