Kenya, Rwanda ban poultry from Uganda due to bird flu

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Authorities in Kenya and Rwanda announced on Wednesday a ban on poultry imports from Uganda, following a bird flu outbreak in the country.

The ban comes after Uganda’s agriculture ministry confirmed on Sunday that it had detected a virulent H5 strain of avian flu. The United Kingdom and the United States are among the countries to advise citizens travelling to Uganda to avoid areas affected by the virus.

 

Kenya, Rwanda ban imports

Kenya’s agriculture cabinet secretary Willy Bett announced his country’s ban at a press conference on Wednesday.

“The government banned [the] importation of poultry and poultry products from Uganda with immediate effect,” he said.

Just two days earlier, Rwanda placed its own ban on poultry and poultry products from Uganda. Christine Kanyandekwe, the country’s agricultural department, confirmed the move on Wednesday.

“Rwanda has put in place measures to prevent the disease. We have temporarily halted the import of poultry and poultry products,” she said.

 

Precautionary measures

The first suspected cases of bird flu were discovered earlier this year when fishermen reported the deaths of wild birds on the coasts of Lake Victoria. The virus has since been found in the carcases of domestic birds in western Uganda.

In both cases, birds tested positive for the H5 avian flu, which authorities described as: “the highly pathogenic avian influenza that affects both humans and animals and which causes a high number of deaths in both species”

Neighbouring Kenya and Rwanda are taking precautionary measures after the confirmation of bird flu in Uganda. Neither country has detected any suspected cases of avian flu but Rwanda alone imports 50,000 chicks and 100 tons of eggs from Uganda every month.

Kenya hasn’t confirmed any figures on the number of poultry and poultry products from Uganda.

 

Featured image: By Cybercobra at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9878954

 

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.