|20. November 2015
Government maintains beef exports ban
THE ban on exports of beef will remain in place until Zambia has enough to satisfy local demand, says livestock and fisheries minister Greyford Monde.
Monde said inasmuch as the government wanted to export beef, it would first concentrate on satisfying local demand.
“As much as we want to export our beef to Europe and African markets, we have a deficit of beef ourselves. So, it’s better we create enough for ourselves. The pressure is for imports, not exports,” Monde said in Parliament on Tuesday when responding to Mumbwa Central MMD member of parliament Dr Brian Chituwo who wanted to know if government had identified disease-free zones that could be used to export beef.
He added that Zambia could not export beef within Africa and Europe due to failure to meet the set standards in those countries and the presence of diseases like foot and mouth disease (FMD) and contagious bovine pleural pneumonia (CBPP).
Monde further said in order to facilitate the export of beef within Africa and to Europe, the government was carrying out surveillance for trade sensitive trans-boundary animal diseases like FMD, CBPP and vaccinating beef cattle.
And in response to Chadiza MMD member of parliament Allan Mbewe who wanted to know what measures had been taken to facilitate the export of beef within Africa and to European markets, the minister said for the European market, the government would create at least one disease-free zone in the country.
When Monze Central UPND member of parliament, Jack Mwiimbu, demanded to know whether Zambian beef was of high standard and safe to eat, Monde responded in the affirmative.
He, however, explained that to ensure that Zambian beef meets the export quality in view of diseases in some parts of the country, animal disease surveillance, among other measures, had been taken by the government. “Investment in laboratory facilities at Central Veterinary Research Institute in Balmoral and regional laboratories in Choma, Chipata, Mongu, Kasama, Ndola and Solwezi [have been put in place]...” said Monde.
(The Post, Lusaka/Zambia)