Rift Valley fever outbreak in Namibia
28 May 2010
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has received an update from the Namibian veterinary authorities regarding the outbreak of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Namibia.
Rift Valley fever is a viral disease of animals that is spread by mosquitoes, causing abortions in sheep, goats and cattle and can cause death in young animals.
Humans can get infected if they come into contact with blood and other body fluids from infected animals, or if they assist with abortions and handle infective aborted material, like foetuses, placentas and placental fluids.
Humans may also contract RVF during the slaughter of infected animals and through handling carcasses and meat of recently slaughtered infected animals. Meat from any sick animal should not be handled or eaten.
Trade restrictions were placed on various commodities from Namibia. The following restrictions will remain in place:
- Venison, beef, mutton and goat meat not slaughtered at South African approved abattoirs and
- Milk: raw milk
The importation of live susceptible animals from Namibia is under review.
The Directorate of Animal Health will, however, continue to allow the following commodities into South Africa:
- Pasteurised milk
- "Break dry" biltong*, droë wors and
- Matured meat slaughtered at South African approved abattoirs
- Game biltong and venison for commercial purposes may be imported into South Africa, with the amended veterinary health certificate and a veterinary import permit.
- The quantity of biltong that may be imported from Namibia to South Africa for own use or own consumption has temporarily been increased to 200kg.
The reason for this is to make provision for the hunters who may not bring in fresh venison due to the trade restrictions put in place because of the Rift Valley fever outbreak.
A veterinary health certificate issued by the veterinary authorities of Namibia as well as a veterinary import permit issued by the permit office of the Import Export Policy unit is required. This arrangement will only be in place until the Rift Valley Fever outbreak in Namibia has been resolved.
The Directorate of Animal Health will remain in contact with the Namibian veterinary authorities and revise our restrictions as necessary.
For more information, contact:
Tel: 012 319 7348
Cell: 082 523 4904
Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
28 May 2010
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