The Zambian government has banned the import of live birds and other poultry products from South Africa.
This follows an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8), commonly known as bird flu, in that country.
The decision comes barely a fortnight after a similar ban was imposed on poultry imports from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe and other countries which also recorded an outbreak of the virus.
“The measure was taken to safeguard Zambia’s poultry industry,” said Livestock and Fisheries Minister Michael Katambo.
Katambo said those flouting the ban will be prosecuted.
Bird flu is highly contagious among bids, and recently spread to several countries in the region. It can completely wipe out the bird population of a country. However, evidence of human to human transmission has not been recorded. Prevention is done through surveillance outbreak preparedness and pandemic planning.