MBABANE: Bongani Mdluli, the Chairman of the Eswatini Consumers Association ( ECA) has called upon government to ban South African poultry products amid the outbreak of the bird flu.
This comes in the midst of media reports suggesting that several countries within the Southern African Development Community(SADC) have banned South African poultry products due to the outbreak of the avian flu (bird flu) in the neighbouring country, these countries include Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on Thursday, the Consumer Association Chairman said government should quickly take a position in this issue before it was too late.
“This is a very sensitive and urgent issue that involves products that are consumed by the people, we can’t afford to take risks. We would like to urge government to effect the ban on these products before it’s too late, we will follow up on the matter with the relevant authorities”, he said.
When reached for comments, Jabulani ‘Buy Cash’ Mabuza, the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives said the Ministry was closely following the matter adding that Eswatini and South Africa when responding to a previous outbreak in 2018 agreed on a strict compartmentalisation protocol to facilitate safe trade between the countries and that protocol was still in place.
“We are continuously in communication with the RSA following the developments closely, so far the outbreak is limited to compartments which are excluded from trade, should this escape and spread, we will recommend accordingly, what we are doing is based on risk assessment and International standards”, said the Minister.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa and ruled by an absolute monarch has about 70 % of its population living below the poverty, the country imports a large portion of its food including poultry products from the neighbouring South Africa which has been hit by the bird flu since last week.
Consumers Association urges government to ban South African poultry products amid bird flue outbreak