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Kenyan bans South African pork after outbreak of swine fever

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NAIROBI, Aug 15 (AFP) - The Kenyan government has banned the importation of pork from South Africa after an outbreak of swine fever in the country, the trade ministry said in a statement Thursday.

"The government has cancelled all import permits issued earlier and stopped issuing new permits," the ministry's permanent secretary David Nalo said in the statement.

"The government is looking elsewhere for imports of pork and pork products, " he added.

Kenyan officials refused to disclose the amount of pork imported from South Africa, but said local farmers were not able to supply the market with enough pork during this tourist season.

"With the current tourism boom in the country we cannot afford to have shortfalls in the supply of pork and so the country is at liberty to get products from Brazil," the country's director of livestock development Julius Kiptarus said.

In August, South African authorities began culling the first of more than 20,000 pigs in the country's southeastern region after veterinary officials confirmed the outbreak of swine fever.

In July, South Africa's Western Cape province had been hit by a similar outbreak which prompted authorities to quarantine swine at piggeries at the town of Worcester, northeast of Cape Town.

The disease only affects pigs and has no effects on humans or other animals but it could potentially damage the pork industry and its international trade.



COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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