In response to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks and concerns about food security, the South African government is contemplating a temporary rebate on import duties for chicken meat.
- The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development estimates that the outbreaks have resulted in a loss of approximately 1.4 million chickens as of September 21.
- Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel has directed the trade commission Itac to expedite the consideration of a rebate on meat and edible offal of fresh, chilled, or frozen chicken.
- The depletion of locally available poultry due to the outbreaks could have severe implications for food security and the availability and prices of poultry, which is a staple protein in South Africa.
- Interested parties have been given a two-week period to submit comments to the commission regarding the rebate, which may also include the recently reinstated anti-dumping duties.
- The Association of Meat Importers and Exporters South Africa (Amie) has welcomed the government’s proactive approach to address the bird flu outbreak, and they will be drafting comments for Itac’s consideration.
- The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has expressed concern over the potential rebate, stating that there are sufficient chicken supplies available on the world market and that the current situation does not justify such a measure.