Gambian authority has put a temporal embargo on the importation on live poultry birds of all ages and all poultry products including chicken meat, eggs from Senegal and all other countries currently experiencing HPAI H5A1 outbreak.
Below is the full text of the press release
Pursuant to the public notification of a reported outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)/Bird Flu of the type H5N1 on the 7th January 2021 in our neighbour Republic of Senegal by the Ministry of Agriculture through the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) and the Ministry of Health through its Epidemiology & Disease Control Unit (EDC) joined by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and Department of Parks and wildlife Management (DPWM) under the Ministry of Environment, the national taskforce composed of EDC, NDMA, and DPWM and led by DLS has invoked the Integrated National Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Avian & Human Influenza (AHI) (2015-2019) for the implementation of the necessary response activities to address the risk posed by the presence of the virus in Senegal and to continue with efforts to further secure its absence in The Gambia.
The Ministry of Agriculture through the Department of Livestock Services, guided by the response activities stipulated in the Integrated National Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Avian & Human Influenza, is imposing a ban with immediately effect on the importation on live poultry birds of all ages and all poultry products including chicken meat, eggs etc. from Senegal and all other countries currently experiencing HPAI H5A1 outbreak. Importers of live poultry birds and poultry products are therefore advised to source these only from countries currently not affected by HPAI. This ban will be effective until such time when the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Senegalese authorities confirm that the outbreak is completely contained, and new cases of the disease have not occurred in Senegal. The Ministry of Agriculture and the National Avian Influenza taskforce recognizes that this ban may cause a temporary unfavorable shortage of chicks and poultry products in The Gambia but implores every citizen to abide by the ban since Bird Flu is a highly contagious viral disease with a significant zoonotic risk and a major global public health concern and potential pandemic similar to Covid-19 or even worse.
The Ministry of Agriculture/DLS and partners take this opportunity to urge everyone to remain calm but vigilant and report any unusual animal health event in poultry only to DLS staff. The ultimate objective of this message is protecting human lives and enhancing food security being a clear indication of the commitment of The Government of The Gambia to protect its citizens and their livelihoods.