Posted by Reuters on
Angola, Mali and Guinea have banned poultry and egg imports from Nigeria, joining other African nations which have imposed bans since the continent's first case of H5N1 bird flu was found in the West African state.
(Adds Guinea ban on all poultry imports)
LUANDA, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Angola, Mali and Guinea have banned poultry and egg imports from Nigeria, joining other African nations which have imposed bans since the continent's first case of H5N1 bird flu was found in the West African state.
The Angolan state news agency Angop on Saturday quoted Filipe Vissesse, Director General of Veterinary Services, as saying the Angolan government had already stepped up security and monitoring at seaports, airports and border checkpoints.
Mali's livestock ministry banned all poultry product imports from Nigeria in a decree issued late on Friday, and Guinea followed suit on Saturday.
"We are looking at how to organise ourselves regarding both veterinary services and hospitals to contain this threat," Seny Mane, Guinea's national livestock director told Reuters.
The first African case of the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus was detected last week in poultry in northern Nigeria. The virus has been confirmed on four farms in the northern Nigerian states of Kano, Kaduna and Plateau, and other farmers and villagers are reporting mass deaths of poultry.
Experts fear the H5N1 strain, which has killed at least 88 people in Asia and the Middle East since early 2003, could mutate into a form that can spread from human to human.
They fear this could cause a global flu pandemic that could kill millions, and Africa's generally poor health systems would place it at far greater risk than other regions.
Import bans on Nigerian poultry and its products have been announced by a number of African countries, including western neighbour Benin as well as more distant Kenya and South Africa.
Vissesse urged poultry farmers to remain calm but alert for abnormal signs in their stock, and to report any symptoms to the veterinary services immediately.
These terms and conditions contain rules about posting comments. By submitting a comment, you are declaring that you agree with these rules:
Failure to comply with these rules may result in being banned from further commenting.
These terms and conditions are subject to change at any time and without notice.