MOZAMBIQUE – Mozambique is currently celebrating the lifting of its ban on South African poultry products.

This decision follows a six-month period during which no new cases of avian influenza, or bird flu, have been reported in either Mozambique or South Africa.

Previously, the import of certain South African poultry products into Mozambique was tightly regulated and permitted only through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER).

This list included producer chicks, day-old chicks and ducks, hatching eggs, and frozen chicken meat. With the lifting of the ban, Mozambican households and businesses are now able to import these poultry products from South Africa once again.

However, stringent regulations remain in place to maintain biosecurity and prevent the reintroduction of avian influenza.

The National Directorate of Livestock Development, under MADER, is emphasizing that imported poultry products must come from birds housed in compartments certified as avian influenza-free.

These compartments must be approved by South African veterinary authorities in accordance with the World Food Organization (WFO) code for animal health.

For imports from countries other than South Africa, additional procedures apply.

The transit of poultry meat, feathers, eggs (both fertile and consumer), and other poultry byproducts intended for animal feed or agricultural and industrial use requires specific authorization from the Mozambican veterinary authority in the form of an import license.

The lifting of the import ban is a positive development for both Mozambique and South Africa.

Mozambique now has access to a wider variety of poultry products, which could stabilize supply and prices for consumers.

Meanwhile, South African poultry producers are able to resume exports to a key regional market.

The importance of biosecurity protocols in preventing the spread of avian influenza is underscored by this decision.

Mozambique remains committed to protecting public health and its poultry industry, as evidenced by the stringent measures enforced by MADER.

This news comes a few months after South Africa faced a severe shortage of chicken and eggs – between the end of May and September 19, 2023, South Africa lost between 15% and 20% of its national chicken population, with four million chickens destroyed due to the avian flu epidemic.

This led to a shortage of eggs and poultry, with several retailers warning customers that shelves could soon be empty.

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