GABORONE, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The Botswana government announced on Wednesday that it has banned imports of all poultry and poultry products from neighboring Zimbabwe following a reported outbreak of avian influenza there.
Geoffrey Pheko, public relations officer at the country's Ministry of Agriculture Development and Food Security, said the outbreak resulted in the ministry imposing an immediate ban on the import of domesticated and wild birds, their products including meat, eggs and feathers as well as poultry feed.
Moreover, the official said all import permits issued for importing the listed items are cancelled with immediate effect.
Asked on how long the ban is likely to last, Pheko said they are still monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe and thus do not have a timetable.
The impact of the ban on the consumers is yet to be felt locally as many restaurants around the capital city Gaborone carried on business as usual.
All retailers also stocked poultry and poultry products as of Wednesday afternoon.
Botswana is not yet self-sufficient in poultry and imports most of its poultry products, especially meat, from neighboring South Africa to augment the shortage.
Meanwhile Zimbabwean media reported that on Monday, the country's Department of Veterinary Services said it had quarantined Irvine's White meat and egg sub-sector after the country's largest poultry producers reported an outbreak of avian influenza at its Harare factory.