Some trade partners relax their stance on meat exports despite FMD

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana.

The government has made “some strides” in its attempt to limit the negative impact on trade after South Africa lost its foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) free zone status following the outbreak of the disease in Limpopo early last month.

“The outbreak has had a devastating effect on the trade of cloven-hoofed animals and the respective by-products,” said Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana. He pointed out that while some countries had instituted official bans, trade had been further disrupted as a result of the inability to certify any exports where FMD free zone attestation was required. 

He pointed out at a media briefing held yesterday (Monday) that his department had been in touch with trade partners, providing an update on the FMD outbreak and requesting that they consider a “continuation of trade” from the safe areas.

“Guarantees were provided for products which do not pose a risk of transmitting the disease, such as heat treated meat and dairy products, deboned and matured beef, scoured wool, salted hides and skins, livestock embryos and pork products from known FMD-free pig compartments,” explained Zokwana.

He said that as a result trade restrictions on the export of processed products had been relaxed by many trade partners.  “Trade in safe commodities to direct neighbouring countries have largely been accepted and, where necessary, negotiation of new health certificates is under way,” said Zokwana.

He added that there had also been good progress with negotiations to re-open markets for deboned matured beef, processed dairy products and processed hides and skins to the other African countries, the Middle East and the Far East.

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