THE government has lifted the ban on the importation of chickens and all poultry products, assuring local farmers that the avian influenza that hit the country between May and June, killing scores of chickens countrywide is currently under control.
Aug. 11, 2021
2 min read
Govt lifts ban of poultry imports
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Likopo Mahase
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Speaking at a media briefing that was held in Maseru on Tuesday, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Likopo Mahase apologised to the farmers for the inconvenience caused by the ban, saying they could now resume trading with their South African partners.
He said between May and June, the disease among others hit two major poultry farms in Ha Penapena, Maseru and Sebothoane in Leribe where a total of about 500 000 chickens were disposed of, to curb the spread of the virus.
The virus had initially hit most parts of the South Africa, which is Lesotho’s major supplier of poultry chickens and products.
The Director General of Veterinary Services in the ministry of agriculture, Dr Relebohile Mahloane said the disease has such an acute impact on the poultry farming industry that it quickly spreads within days of breaking out.
He said across the country, there are no reported cases of human to human infections, adding however that there are cases of chicken to human infections which he said need serious monitoring as they can spread further.
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For his part, the ministry’s Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Relebohile Lepheane said the ministry has been getting good compliance from the farmers, adding that verification was made in affected farms where samples were taken and later came back negative.
She said the ministry’s efforts to control the disease were easily accomplished through the participation of the farmers.
The avian influenza is reported to have hit some parts of the Free State Province, the North West Province, Mpumalanga Province, the Eastern Cape Province, the Kwa-Zulu Natal province as well as the Western Cape Province. LeNA