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South African Farmers Fight Back on Poultry Ban

by 5m Editor
20 April 2010, at 9:05am

SOUTH AFRICA - Poultry producers are unhappy about Zimbabwe's ban on their poultry meat.

Local poultry producers are facing shrinking exports after the Zimbabwe government banned all poultry importation from South Africa, according to Supreme Poultry managing director, Izaak Breitenbach.

Business Report of South Africa reports that the Zimbabwean Poultry Association has alleged that South African and South American poultry were heavily injected with a brine saltwater solution to levels as high as 40 per cent. The solution increased bird weight when frozen, but it seeped out before and during cooking, leaving the actual meat content at 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the original weight, it said.

The association said it also suffered at the hands of unfair competition because South African chicken were fed genetically modified maize ingredients, which compromised the quality of the meat.

Zimbabwean farmers are understood to have lobbied their government because they had built up large stockpiles, which they had failed to sell because of competition mainly from South Africa and Brazil.

According to Kevin Lovell, the chief executive of the Southern African Poultry Association, South Africa exports about 1,500 tons of chickens annually to Zimbabwe, which accounts for about 80 per cent of total exports.

Mr Breitenbach described the ban as unfair and added that chicken meat prices in Zimbabwe would rise drastically as the country's producers would not be able to meet demand, according to Business Report.

He said: "We will not be having so many importers from that country if they were able to ramp up production to meet their needs. I think it's because we are more efficient than them. It's unfair for consumers.

"This is absolutely a business decision. It has nothing to do with animal health and has nothing to do with genetically modified maize."