Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Pieter Mulder said on Monday time was rapidly running out for the country's ailing ostrich industry.
More than 50 000 birds have already been culled in the Karoo since last year's bird flu outbreak.
European Union health authorities subsequently banned all meat exports to the region.
Mulder said they urgently need to come up with a plan to save the industry.
The culling of ostriches in an attempt to eradicate the spread of the disease has proven futile with fresh outbreaks of the virus last month.
The department now hopes it can convince European authorities to allow export again but only under strict guidelines.
Mulder said such discussions are ongoing.
“We are trying to speak to the European authorities saying: what if we zone those areas, so that other areas may be possible for exporting.”
He said the industry and other role-players will meet in the coming weeks to discuss the way forward.