The European Union has lifted the four-year ban on South African ostrich exports.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the European Commission this week lifted the ban on the export of fresh ostrich meat into the EU, which will come into effect in late August 2015.
“This is excellent news which stands to grow the size of the ostrich industry, which contributes over R1 billion to the economy. The industry was initially severely economically impacted by the 2011 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak, but has since recovered somewhat through the export of processed ostrich meat. Processed meat will continue to be exported, parallel to the export of fresh ostrich meat. This will lessen the impact of any future incursions of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) in the industry.
“Resuming exports to the EU will play an important role in increasing the number of jobs in this industry, which currently employs over 50 000 residents.”
Minister Winde added that vets in the Western Cape conduct regular testing which ensures animal diseases are detected early.
“Strict control measures are put in place to ensure that cases that arise are managed effectively,” said Minister Winde.