CHINA has announced that its ban on importation of wool and sheep skins from South Africa due to a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak is over as of last Thursday.
However, South African wool industry body Cape Wools SA has said the Chinese Customs declaration on May 8 states the ban has been deactivated under the terms of World Organisation for Animal Health regulations (OiE) for safe trade.
China suspended imports of all cloven hoofed animals and their products from South Africa after an outbreak of FMD was detected on 2 January 2019 in the high surveillance area of the FMD-free zone in Limpopo.
Australian trade sources said the OiE ‘Safe Commodities’ standards specifying storage and temperature conditions for greasy wool could still impact the release of greasy wool from storage and imports of wool into China due to the thermal inaction
Cape Wools SA said further information has also been received that a Chinese delegation might visit South Africa to conduct their own inspections and the body awaited further information.
“The announcement which was issued implies that any scoured wool or mohair could be exported, but that the conditions under which greasy wool could be exported, will be subject to OIE “Safe Commodities” regulations,” Cape Wools SA said.
“The announcement is a very positive step forward in negotiations with China, but it should be noted that specific temperature conditions might have to be met before the export of greasy wool or mohair can resume.
“We are however waiting for clarification on how DAFF will implement the issuing of health certificates within these defined parameters.”
For the importation of wool from FMD infected countries the OiE’s Terrestial Animal Codes specifies that veterinary authorities should require an international veterinary certificate attesting that the FMD virus has been destroyed through industrial washing or scouring, fumigation, or storage at 18°Celsius for four weeks, 4°C for four months, or 37°C for eight days.