Avian flu: DA calls on Minister Didiza to urgently assist farmers

Issued by Noko Masipa MP – DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
29 Sep 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached letter to Minister Didiza as well as soundbite and video by Noko Masipa MP. 

Minister Didiza needs to act urgently as poultry farmers suffer due to a severe avian flu outbreak.

The DA has urged her to assist farmers by procuring vaccines, registering them, and providing financial support to rebuild their businesses.

Reports suggest that millions of birds have already died, causing significant industry losses. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development’s slow response is concerning, as it threatens food security and raises chicken prices, impacting vulnerable families. Namibia has even suspended chicken imports from South Africa due to the outbreak.

To address this crisis, the DA recommends:

1. Providing financial support to affected farmers.

2. Reporting the exact number of bird deaths and the monetary losses incurred.

3. Sourcing, testing, registering, and supplying poultry vaccines within 30-90 days.

4. Establishing emergency funding packages between the government and the private sector.

Minister Thoko Didiza must remove some of the restrictive red tape on vaccine registration to ensure speedy procurement of effective vaccines. Concurrent to the procurement of vaccines, an extensive monitoring system must be put in place to quarantine severely affected areas to prevent the further spreading of the disease.

It is crucial that this avian flu outbreak is contained as quickly as possible to save the local poultry industry, preserve jobs and ensure the continued supply of affordable chicken to consumers. The DA will fight to ensure poultry farmers are assisted as soon as possible to avert possible collapse of the industry.

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