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Raw wool exports to China to resume soon
09
Sep '11
Exports of South African raw wool to China will resume soon as the issue of clearance certificates related to Rift Valley Fever (RVF) has been resolved.

The accord has been reached between China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and South Africa's Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The agreement allows export of wool shorn three months after the last outbreak of the RVF disease, beginning September 15, 2011.

However, wool shorn from a municipality that is still affected by RVF would not qualify for export unless it is accompanied by a certificate issued by a provincial state veterinarian authenticating that there had been no RVF cases on the producer's farm during the last three months before the date of shearing.

Such a veterinarian certificate should clearly mention the applicable date, the number of bales and their farm of origin, besides the contact details of the veterinarian.

In spite of scientific evidence that RVF cannot be transmitted through wool, China is the only country that insists on health clearance certificates for the same.

Even the World Organisation for Animal Health's terrestrial animal health code of 2009, of which China is a signatory, states that skins, wool, hides and fibre do not require RVF-related conditions on certificates.

Exports of unprocessed wool to China were stopped in August 2010 when RVF stuck livestock for the first time in South Africa after a gap of more than three decades.

China is the largest importer of South African wool, but owing to high demand from Europe last year, South Africa does not have stocks piled up at present.

During the 2009-10 season, from mid-August to mid-June, China imported R933 million worth of South African wool, according to Cape Wools SA data.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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