Poultry imports hurt ZPA

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) has revealed that more than 1 000 tonnes of poultry products were imported into the country from South Africa last year.

The alarming statistics are despite a ban imposed by government on the importation of poultry products from the neighbouring country, which runs Africa’s most industrialised economy.

Authorities in Zimbabwe imposed the ban following the outbreak of high pathogen avian influenza (A1) in South Africa.

ZPA has since issued an alert on local producers to be vigilant after new cases were reported.

“It is illegal to import chicken products into Zimbabwe from South Africa, whether in large refrigerated consignments or coming through the border with packs of frozen chicken in family shopping groceries,” ZPA said.

“…this also applies to bringing in live birds from South Africa, because of the risk of A1 which can spread rapidly and decimate whole flocks.”

Poultry products imports have chucked local producers out of business leading to the closure of some major breeders that contributed immensely to the industry.

According to the Veterinary Services Department, local poultry production is still recovering from the effects, which resulted in shortage of eggs across the country.

Last year, a 31 percent reduction in table eggs on the market and an overall 10 percent decline in broiler meat production were recorded compared to 2016.

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