Botswana bans imports of Zim poultry after avian flu outbreak

The Government of Botswana have announced a ban on all poultry products from Zimbabwe after an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian flu.

“As a result, the import of domesticated and wild birds, their products (meat, eggs, feathers etc.) and poultry feed from Zimbabwe is banned with immediate effect,” government said earlier today on its Facebook page.

This means all permits for the import of the above products are cancelled with immediate effect.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) last week reported an outbreak of the deadly H5N8 strain of bird flu on the Lanark farm in Mashonaland East, in central Zimbabwe.

The farm consists of eight separately managed sites. A site which housed 83 000 birds was affected and 7 845 birds had already died due to the virus when the report was released on June 1.

In total the farm has about 2 million birds. So far, 75 155 birds have already been killed and disposed of.

According to the OIE report, the origin of the outbreak is unknown, but the affected site is “close to a small dam where there is a number of different migratory waterfowl, which are tentatively to be the source of the infection”.

The farm will be quarantined, with surveillance inside and outside a protection zone taking place. There is also disinfection and stomping out of the animals.

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