by Christine Lagat
NAIROBI, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will partially lift a ban on poultry products imported from neighboring Uganda following recommendation of a taskforce that ascertained they were free from avian flu infection, officials said on Wednesday.
Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Willy Bett told reporters in Nairobi that Kenya will resume importation of poultry carcasses, eggs and day old chicks from three facilities in Uganda that have managed to contain spread of avian flu through establishment of stringent biosecurity measures.
"We are satisfied by measures Ugandan authorities have put in place to curb spread of avian flu in poultry and have settled on a partial lift on a ban imposed on their importation," said Bett.
Kenya announced a total ban on poultry imported from Uganda early this year in the wake of an Avian Flu epidemic that devastated birds in the neighboring country.
Uganda's ministry of agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries confirmed the first case of Avian flu on Jan. 15 prompting Kenyan authorities to ban importation of poultry as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the highly infectious disease.
Bett said that Kenyan officials and medical experts have been visiting Uganda regularly since January to assess deterrent measures Kampala had put in place to contain spread of Avian Flu.
"When Uganda requested lifting of the ban on poultry importation, our delegation visited the country to undertake risk assessment on the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza," said Bett.
"We agreed that Kenya could only resume import of poultry products from areas certified as free from Avian Flu," he added.
He revealed that Kenyan officials in their extensive visit to Uganda in June and July this year were exposed to solid interventions the country had put in place to curb spread of Avian Flu among birds.
Bett said that Kenyan custom officials have been instructed to ascertain the certificate of origin on every poultry product originating from Uganda to minimize the risk of Avian Flu.