SA’s poultry industry could be left counting costs that run into billions of rand as no insurance cover exists to cater for the outbreak of a natural disaster such as bird flu. In the event of a large-scale outbreak of bird flu, the country’s poultry industry could be dealt a significant blow, considering that it is already weighed down by imports from Brazil and the EU and is still reeling from the drought last season. In 2016, South African producers exported poultry products worth R1.36bn. In June, the country recorded its first cases of bird flu in Mpumalanga and the Free State, after an outbreak that affected neighbouring Zimbabwe and, further up north, Uganda. AgriSA’s head of natural resources, Janse Rabie, said it was willing to engage with stakeholders in the poultry industry with a view to possibly coming up with levies, given the absence of insurance cover, to at least cushion the industry from natural disasters. "In SA, there doesn’t appear to be an insurance product mad...

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