Kenya has partial lifting trade in poultry and related products imposed after an outbreak of avian flu in Uganda.
Traders have welcomed lifting of the ban on trade in poultry and related products from Uganda imposed after an outbreak of avian flu in January after a highly infectious strain of bird flu was reported in Uganda.
“The government’s move is welcome. The Ugandan government did thorough risk assessment and confirmed there was no avian flu,” said the Eggs Suppliers Union representative at Busia border, Erick Osumba.
Dealers had been complaining over the delay to lift the ban by Kenyan authorities.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said Kenya had taken the move to safeguard against a potential spread of avian influenza.
“The Uganda Government has been requesting for a lifting of the ban on trade in poultry and poultry products following the successful confinement of Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the original area of infection,” said Bett.
The ban resulted in an acute shortage of eggs and other poultry products, especially in western Kenya.
“We were almost being pushed out of business. We welcome the lift of the ban,” said trader Agnes Nderitu.
Kenya had indicated that it could lift the ban in February after experts from the two countries met to assess the disease outbreak.
The Ugandan government, on more than two occasions through Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempija, sought to reassure Kenya that it had contained the outbreak, adding that most farms that export eggs to Kenya are located more than 10kms from the quarantined area.
Kenyan traders have been sourcing eggs, day-old chicks and poultry meat from Uganda because they are far cheaper than local products.