The veterinary import permits for venison, beef, mutton and goat meat not slaughtered at South African approved abattoirs have been cancelled following the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Namibia.
The South African department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries said it has received notification from the Namibian veterinary authorities regarding an outbreak of RVF in the country. It has since placed trade restrictions on commodities from Namibia (mid-May 2010).
“Import permits already issued for the commodities of live RVF susceptible ruminants including game animals, venison, beef, mutton and goat meat not slaughtered at South African approved abattoirs and raw milk are considered to be cancelled,” the department said in a statement.
The Directorate for Animal Health said it will, however, continue to allow commodities such as pasteurized milk, break dry biltong, dried wors and matured meat slaughtered at approved South African abattoirs into the country. “The Directorate will remain in contact with the Namibian veterinary authorities and revise our restrictions soon to prevent unnecessary trade restrictions,” the department said.
Hunters planning to hunt in Namibia and wanting to bring the meat back to South Africa have been advised to contact the veterinary authorities of Namibia before hunting.
RVF is a viral disease of animals that is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes termination of gestation and deaths of young livestock.
Humans become infected from contact with infected tissues of livestock and less frequently from mosquito bites.
As of 10 May 2010, South Africa confirmed 18 deaths and 186 cases of RVF in humans in the Free State, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape and North West provinces.