The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) has banned the imports of fruits and vegetables from Kerala, India and all live animals including sheep, goats, cattle, buffalos, camels, gazelles and their non-heat-treated by-products from the Letsemeng province in South Africa. However, thermally treated products from all other parts of South Africa have been cleared for import. The ban reflects ministry’s keenness in achieving its strategic objectives to ensure healthy and safe food for consumers, enhance biosecurity levels, and eliminating pathogens before they enter the country.
Banning the imports of fruits and vegetables from Kerala is based on the information received and published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the registration of a Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kerala, since the primary host of the disease is the fruit bat, where the virus is transmitted through secretions from the bat to the fruit that it feeds on or touches. Banning of animal products from South Africa is based on a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health of the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever disease.