In June this year, the two countries had agreed on an annual figure of 65,000 tonnes of chicken that South Africa would import from the US. However, given South Africa’s concerns about avian flu in US poultry, the African nation had refused to allow for any actual imports to take place.
However, veterinary experts in both countries are now trying to ensure that US poultry can be safely exported to South Africa.
“South Africa and the United States will finalise terms and conditions and the poultry certificate for export by 15 October 2015 to enable contracting and shipments of US poultry exports to entire South Africa prior to the end of 2015,” said the Departments of Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in a joint statement.
The poultry protocol will provide the technical basis to allow for import of poultry from areas in the US that are not affected, in the event of renewed outbreaks of avian influenza.
South Africa has already revoked its earlier ban on the import of beef from the US. Veterinarians from both the countries came to a common understanding on the technical issues required to speed up the issuance of necessary animal health certificates.
The South African delegation also discussed its own interest in exporting animal products, like beef and ostrich meat, to the US market.