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Bird flu shuts down second East Rand farm: 'SA need to be very careful now'

4 May 2021 9:14 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Bird flu
Association of Meat Importers and Exporters
Avian influenza
Poultry industry
AI
chickens
Paul Matthew
AMIE
poultry exports
poultry imports

The latest spread of avian flu in is cause for concern says Paul Matthew (CEO, Association of Meat Importers and Exporters).

Bird flu is spreading in various areas of South Africa and there are concerns it could wreak havoc on the poultry industry.

On Monday, a second chicken farm on Gauteng's East Rand reported an outbreak of H5 avian influenza (AI).

Government earlier urged poultry farmers to treat any animal deaths as potential AI cases.

RELATED: Outbreak of 'highly pathogenic' bird flu threatens SA poultry industry

Bruce Whitfield interviews Paul Matthew, CEO of the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE).

It is starting to get rather concerning now, especially with the second commercial farm that was identified [in Gauteng]... but I think we have to have faith in the South African Poultry Association [Sapa]. They need to guide us with what is happening.

Paul Matthew, CEO - Association of Meat Importers and Exporters

And we need to be guided from government's side to what action is going to take place, if need be.

Paul Matthew, CEO - Association of Meat Importers and Exporters

We see it very much in the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, but on the South African side it's obviously the migration of [wild] birds for the summer up north... interacting with the various poultry farms and infecting the breeder birds.

Paul Matthew, CEO - Association of Meat Importers and Exporters

South Africa has to be careful about protection against the spread of AI , he says.

Sapa are always talking to government about protection... and anti-dumping.

Paul Matthew, CEO - Association of Meat Importers and Exporters

Our industry, as a whole, on poultry is about 30% down year on year, compared to our figures from March of last year. We are starting to feel it now through the tariffs, so if there's a major outbreak it's an issue.

Paul Matthew, CEO - Association of Meat Importers and Exporters

If government has put up all these tariffs and trade barriers it makes it very difficult for us to have trading partners to actually trade from, because those markets are closed. Obviously this will just lead to a shortage of products.

Paul Matthew, CEO - Association of Meat Importers and Exporters

Poultry is our most important protein for consumers in South Africa so we need to make sure that we keep those markets open!

Paul Matthew, CEO - Association of Meat Importers and Exporters

Matthew notes that this scenario plays out every year as the wild birds migrate and the Association has been discussing it for some time with its trading partners and government.

There is a glimmer of good news though, concerning trade with neighbouring countries.

Once the World Organisation for Animal Health [OIE] has declared a country free, in the past it has taken South Africa up to three years to actually open that market!

Paul Matthew, CEO - Association of Meat Importers and Exporters

What's incredible on our exports... government has very quickly reacted with our neighbouring countries... to re-open the markets as long as the poultry's coming from a compartment, that is free of AI [Avian influenza].

Paul Matthew, CEO - Association of Meat Importers and Exporters

For more detail, take a listen:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Bird flu shuts down second East Rand farm: 'SA need to be very careful now'




4 May 2021 9:14 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Bird flu
Association of Meat Importers and Exporters
Avian influenza
Poultry industry
AI
chickens
Paul Matthew
AMIE
poultry exports
poultry imports

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