Farmers must register to sell live chickens

Buyers and sellers of live chickens reacted positively to governments set of requirements on how poultry may be sold.

The conditions must prevent the highly contagious H5N8 virus, also known as bird flu, from spreading. The measurements were put in place after an outbreak on two commercial farms.

Government first placed a total ban on the sale of live chickens but has since replaced it with a set of strict conditions after discussions with the industry. This allows those whose livelihoods depend on it, to continue trading.

Dr. Ziyanda Majokweni, director of the Poultry Disease Management Agency (PDMA) told Landbouweekblad many farmers (sellers) and traders (buyers) reacted positively to the conditions.

Anyone who deals with more than five live chickens for any purpose other than direct slaughter at a registered slaughterhouse must comply with the following conditions:

  • Registered buyers and sellers – including commercial farmers and traders who buy and sell chickens – must register at the Poultry Disease Management Agency. The PDMA is an independent organisation and will keep a record of those buying and selling live chickens. All information will remain confidential.
  • Only registered buyers and sellers may trade and each must ensure the other party is also registered.
  • Farmers can only sell chickens if a vet or animal health specialist has certified that it is healthy. Farmers must make these arrangements.
  • Traders can only sell healthy chickens and need to keep prescribed records. They must submit a reconciliation form to the PDMA on a monthly basis.

Majokweni said the measures are aimed at traceability.

“If we can keep records like this, it is possible to trace where (live) chickens come from and where it is sold, which will enable authorities to control the outbreak of the disease.”

She said the whole industry will benefit.

“If all role players adhere to the measures, it will help to control diseases such as bird flu and Newcastle disease.

“This means that everyone in the industry will be able to trade without any limitations and control will contribute to the opening of new markets.”

Majokweni said the control measures will remain in place, subject to improvements when needed.

Enquiries: Contact the PDMA on +2712 529 8298 or online at

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