The rapid spread of bird flu in Ugandan has caused Rwanda to immediately stop any importation of both chicken and eggs from its northern neighbour.
A communiqué from the ministry of Agriculture says the directive on import ban takes effect today until further notice – the decision is aimed at curbing avian flu reported in Uganda.
“Due to avian flu traced in Uganda’s Entebbe and Masaka districts, all poultry imports from Uganda will be stopped until further notice,” reads part of the communiqué.
“This intends to avoid the occurrence of the disease that may affect poultry farmers in Rwanda,” the statement further said.
Rwanda imports about 300,000 eggs from Uganda alone every week and 150,000 day-old chicks every month from Uganda, Belgium and Holland.
Farmers have been advised to take good care of their poultry and assure they cannot mix with other animals, to avoid a potential contamination.
“We encourage them to practice bio-security,” said Gerardine Mukeshimana the Minister of Agriculture and Animal husbandry.
Biosecurity consists of procedures or measures designed to protect the population against harmful biological or biochemical substances.
Mukeshimana also said, “We have put in place an easy way for farmers to communicate with Rwanda Agriculture Board and report any signs of the disease.”
The symptoms of avian flu are likely to be diarrhea, breathing difficulty, and cough, expansion of head and throat and uncertain death of chicken.
If poultry keepers or the general public find any poultry species with these clinical signs, they should report them to RAB via 0738503589, 0732590435.
Mukeshimana insisted that the prevention of the disease should not be left to the only farmers but also the community at large.
“The security organs at all boarders of the country should be aware and put in practice the measures to make sure the disease does cross into Rwanda,” said Mukeshimana.
In financial year 2015-2016, Rwanda exported 1,045,835 chicken earning the country $ 5,135,277 according to statistics from the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).