The U.K. poultry and egg industries have regained access to the South African market.
South Africa banned exports of poultry meat, poultry products, live birds and eggs from the U.K. following the November 2014 outbreak of H5N8 avian influenza on a duck farm in East Riding of Yorkshire, which resulted in the culling of 6,000 birds. Officials in the U.K. lifted movement restrictions on the farm on December 21, 2014.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported that no other cases of H5N8 avian influenza occurred in the U.K. since that duck farm contracted the virus. With the affected farm having been disinfected, OIE considered the U.K. H5N8 avian influenza outbreak to be resolved.
Any U.K. poultry meat or poultry products slaughtered on or after February 22, 2015, have now been given clearance to be exported to South Africa. However, no product, including frozen meat, from before that date can be shipped to South Africa.
The lifting of the South African ban will give a boost to the U.K. poultry industry, as South Africa accounted for 12 percent of the U.K.’s poultry exports in 2014. The U.K. exported 43,000 metric tons of fresh and frozen poultry meat to South Africa last year, which was a year-over-year increase of 12 percent.