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News 251 views update:Oct 23, 2006

Poultry smuggling poses high risk of bird flu

Poultry experts from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), warn of risks in the spread of the deadly avian influenza, resulting from bird smugglers rather than migratory birds.

Poultry experts and representatives agree that only warranted products which are free of bird flu , be exported legitimately.

Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) executive manager, Mathews Ngosa, stated that there had been panic reactions by authorities regarding bird flu, causing unnecessary disruption in trade.

"As member countries, we agreed to establish compartments in accordance with international standards and allow imports from approved producers," said Ngosa. "SADC governments should increase surveillance to satisfy importing countries."

Delegates agreed that the SADC needs to establish a common policy for monitoring flocks as well as implement an information centre providing a platform for the exchange of information within the poultry industry.
 
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