More than 4 000 chickens have already died since the outbreak of Newcastle disease in the northern communal areas (NCAs) in August. The outbreak is still confined to the four regions of Omusati. Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto but no new cases have been reported outside these regions.
Updating all poultry farmers and the public yesterday, the acting permanent secretary in the agriculture ministry, Sophia Kasheeta, said the ban on movement and trading of live birds (chickens, ducks, ostriches, guinea fowls, caged birds, pigeons, doves and others), uncooked eggs, feathers and chicken feed originating from establishments where live chickens are kept, within and from the infected regions, is still in place.
“Movement of live birds and hatching eggs from other countries or regions south of the veterinary cordon fence into the infected regions has also been banned with immediate effect, and all import permits issued prior to this announcement are hereby withdrawn,” she noted.
Kasheeta said the movement of live birds into the infected regions may be allowed under a veterinary movement permit, provided they are fully vaccinated (three times) against Newcastle disease. She urged farmers to consult the nearest state veterinarian on vaccination procedures. Vaccination of such birds has to be done under supervision of veterinary officials.
Kasheeta said the ban on movement of live birds, frozen poultry meat, uncooked eggs and feathers from neighbouring countries, bordering the affected northern regions of Namibia, also remains in place.
“Movement of frozen poultry/bird meat may be allowed into the infected regions provided that relevant veterinary documents are present. However, frozen poultry/bird meat out of the infected regions is not allowed.
“Inspections at roadblocks within the NCAs and regular patrols along the international borders are being conducted and all trespassers may be prosecuted.”
“Farmers in the affected areas are requested to visit their nearest state veterinary office for Newcastle disease vaccine. All commercial poultry/bird farmers are urged to have sound vaccination programmes and biosecurity measures in place. However, ostrich farmers are advised not to vaccinate their birds against Newcastle disease without consulting state veterinarians,” she observed.
She concluded by saying that all farmers are urged to report all suspected cases of Newcastle disease to veterinary offices or any agricultural office, headmen or respective regional councillors without delay.