WINDHOEK, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Namibia halted imports of live poultry from 10 countries on Friday following outbreaks of bird flu in Europe.

The suspension affects imports from the Netherlands, Germany, Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Ukraine, Belgium, Poland, Sweden and France, the Directorate of Veterinary Services said in a statement.

Cooked poultry meat products for commercial purposes may be imported under a veterinary permit, it said.

Imports of live ostrich and raw ostrich products will also be suspended, said Chief veterinary officer Dr Albertina Shilongo.

The southern African nation consumes an estimated 2,500 tonnes of chicken monthly, relying on imports, mainly from neighbouring South Africa, to meet demand.

Thousands of chickens and other poultry birds have been culled as bird flu has spread across Europe. (Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; editing by John Stonestreet)

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