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Nam, China to renegotiate Lumpy Skin Disease condition for beef exports

WINDHOEK, 13 OCT (NAMPA) – Namibia and China will renegotiate and review the Lumpy Skin Disease condition in a protocol signed in 2015 to facilitate the access of Namibian beef to the Chinese market.
The protocol was signed following an Animal Health and Quarantine Agreement signed in 2011 to facilitate trade in meat, fish and other aquatic animals and their products by the two countries.
One of the conditions in the protocol is that there must not have been an occurrence of Lumpy Skin Disease in the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free areas in the country during at least the previous 12 months.
Outbreaks of the disease were experienced in 2016 and this year in the FMD free zone, notably in Otjozondjupa, Kunene, Omaheke and south of the veterinary cordon fence.
The outbreaks were contained through vaccination and declared over in May 2017.
Lumpy Skin Disease is an infectious, eruptive, occasionally fatal disease of cattle characterised by nodules on the skin and other parts of the body.
However, the disease can be effectively controlled through vaccination.
Delivering a progress report on the export of Namibian beef to China in the National Assembly on Thursday, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa said the agreement was reached regarding the quarantine and veterinary health conditions for beef originating from the FMD-free zone, south of the veterinary cordon fence where FMD vaccination is not practised, to be exported to China.
Mutorwa said renegotiation would be done in line with international standards for safe trade in animal and animal products, and the World Organisation for Animal Health guidelines and standards.
Once finalised, the protocol will strengthen economic relations through trade in meat and meat products of the two countries.
Mutorwa indicated that a meeting was held on Wednesday to review and renegotiate to remove the Lumpy Skin Disease condition urgently.
“Namibia has a strong and competent veterinary service which has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate its professional capability to prevent and control animal disease, in collaboration with livestock producers and the meat industries,” the minister stated.
The signed agreement is thus an indication of the desire between the two countries to enter into a new phase in the area of trade and economic cooperation, he said.

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