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Tanzania: Livestock Ban Lifted As Zanzibar Controls RVF

02 July 2007

STONE TOWN - Tanzania's semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar have lifted a ban imposed in April on the importation of farm animals and meat in a bid to keep the region free of Rift Valley Fever (RVF).

"We are now convinced that RVF is not a threat," Rahma Mshangama, an official from the Zanzibar Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment, told a news conference on 29 June in Stone Town, capital of Zanzibar. "Farm animals and products can be imported after obtaining a permit from livestock department."

An RVF outbreak in December 2006, mainly in the central region of mainland Tanzania, claimed the lives of several people. Dozens of others were infected in the north and southern regions of the mainland.

The indefinite ban on the importation of livestock, including cattle, sheep, goats, camels and meat, led to an increase in the price of meat on the island. Zanzibaris dependent on livestock also saw their incomes fall after the ban.

Residents, including two hotel owners in Stone Town, said they were pleased with the lifting of the ban and hoped the price of beef would fall from the current TSh5,000 (US$4) per kilogram.

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Source: Relief.web


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