R1,2bn industry grounded

EU agriculture experts have recommended a ban on South African ostrich meat, but the Agriculture Department says it has no official knowledge of this threat.

EU agriculture experts have recommended a ban on South African ostrich meat, but the Agriculture Department says it has no official knowledge of this threat.

Ostriches form a R1,2billion export industry.

"As I speak now, I don't have any official correspondence [from the EU] indicating [it] wants to ban ostrich meat," the department's chief communications director, Priscilla Sehoole, said yesterday.

She was responding to a question on reports that the EU has confirmed it is recommending that South Africa be removed from its list of exporters of ostrich meat, poultry, milk, honey, pork and beef.

Sehoole said the first her department had heard of the latest development was from news reports.

She said South African officials were to attend a meeting yesterday with their EU counterparts in Brussels in Belgium to discuss the matter.

A local newspaper reported yesterday that EU spokesman Phillip Tod had confirmed that a recommendation was made by his organisation that South Africa be de-listed. - Sapa

X