Zambia allows import of broiler stock

stock; broilers

Zambia will allow the import of broiler parent stock, but under very strict conditions. However, Livestock and Fisheries Minister Michael Katambo reiterated that the ban on importing live birds and poultry products is still in place.

The minister said the decision to allow the import of broiler parent stock will ensure the sustainability of local production, which stands at 16 million broiler chickens per year. Broiler parent stock is used to produce fertilised eggs and is not sold at stores. It is not meant for human consumption.

Zambia banned the import of live and other poultry products from South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), following an outbreak of bird flu in the countries. No symptoms of the disease have been detected since, but concerns remain due to the proximity of the neighbouring countries which are exposed to bird flu.

Katambo said there is still a need to maintain intense surveillance measures, despite recording no outbreak of the disease. Priority areas of surveillance included water bodies at Lukanga swamps, Lochinvar and Lake Bangweulu, which has the largest population of wild migratory birds.

Wild birds are a source of transmission of the highly contagious disease which also attacks animals. It can completely wipe out the bird population of a country. The disease is easily transmitted between poultry farms by contaminated equipment, vehicles, clothing and chicken feed.

There is no evidence of transmission to humans. Prevention is done through surveillance outbreak preparedness and pandemic planning.

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