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Chicken meat panic turns out to be baseless

Chicken meat lovers need not panic for there is sufficient meat for everyone this Christmas season.

“We (poultry farmers) have enough in our stock and there is no shortage. If there is, I am not aware,” said Mr Dave Gilbert, Botswana Poultry Association (BPA) chairperson. He said the association held monthly meetings and shortage of chicken meat never cropped up.

He said they were aware that South Africa was faced with a serious shortage of chicken meat and table eggs due to the outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza commonly known as Bird Flu. Mr Gilbert explained that areas such as the Western Cape were hard-hit and egg prizes had significantly gone up.

Following the outbreak, Botswana banned the importation of poultry meat, processed products and feeds from South Africa with immediate effect, a development that left many thinking might lead to shortage of some products locally.

Mr Gilbert assured the nation that the country had plenty of poultry meat until the end of the year. Richmark Poultry chief executive officer, Mr Piet Van Wyk had this to say, “I don’t think so.

The poultry industry is currently doing very fine.” He explained that Richmark Poultry situated in Moletemane produced 10 000 broiler chickens per day and 50 000 broiler chicken per week and the business had never had a short fall in meeting the target. He said the industry produced 500 000 broiler chickens per week and Richmark Poultry contributed 10 per cent of the figure on weekly basis.

Mr Van Wyk said even though this time of the year was synonymous with buying food items, including poultry meat, in bulk, there would still be excess even in January next year. He said poultry production in Botswana had grown relatively well to a point where the nation was self-sufficient in poultry meat and table eggs.

The Bird Flu is a rapidly spreading viral disease that can infect many types of birds and is highly contagious. It exists naturally in many birds and can be transmitted by coming into contact with infected animals or through ingestion of infected food or water. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thamani Shabani

Location : GABORONE

Event : Interview

Date : Dec 04 Mon,2017


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