Director of Animal Health: Store chickens safe to eat, despite bird flu outbreak

The South African Poultry Association says it will discuss with government how to strike the balance between disease management and financial risk impact of a bird flu outbreak.

Two individual cases of bird flu have been reported in Mpumalanga and the Free State.

An outbreak of a highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province was confirmed by the agricultural industry body group, AgriSA, on Friday.

READ: Reports of H5N8 bird flu in South Africa

Government has introduced a ban on the sale of live poultry to minimise the risk of the disease spreading.

The poultry association's Kevin Lovell says the outbreak has not reached a crisis point and that the affected farms make up a small percentage of South Africa's supply.

What government is saying is how do we stop this disease spreading? Banning the sale of live birds is one such way. Today in our meeting we will look at what is the fair balance between business continuity and disease spread risk. No right answer. It is a discussion.

Kevin Lovell, CEO of the South African Poultry Association

One is a commercial egg laying farm, 1% of South Africa's egg supply is affected. It sounds like a lot of chickens but it is not a lot of eggs. It is not a crisis yet. The first farm was a boiler breeder farm, also a small percentage of South Africa's supply.

Kevin Lovell, CEO of the South African Poultry Association

It is not a crisis yet. If it spreads it could become a crisis and fortunately for us, this particular strain does not affect people. It just affects farmers.

Kevin Lovell, CEO of the South African Poultry Association

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio...

Meanwhile the National Director of Animal Health, Dr Mpho Maja says consumers have nothing to worry about and that the meat in store is safe to eat.

She explains why government has banned the sale of live chickens.

It takes about 4 to 7 days before a disease is manifested if a bird is infected, so in that 4 to 7 days we would not know that those birds are affected. If the culls are infected and incubating the disease, they re going to further spread it.

Dr Mpho Maja, Management Team Director of Animal Health

It is not for consumer protection, it is basically to prevent the spread of the disease. The WHO as well as the World Organisation for Animal Health have confirmed that the H5N8 does not affect people.

Dr Mpho Maja, Management Team Director of Animal Health

Click on the audio below to listen to the full audio...


This article first appeared on 702 : Director of Animal Health: Store chickens safe to eat, despite bird flu outbreak


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
MiWayLife CEO responds to complaints by call centre operators

MiWayLife CEO responds to complaints by call centre operators

Call centre operators say their safety is being compromised and that they are being made to work overtime without pay.

[LISTEN] Prasa CEO addresses safety on coaches and vandalism

[LISTEN] Prasa CEO addresses safety on coaches and vandalism

Stephen Grootes spoke to Molepo to find out what his immediate plans are to address the challenges facing Prasa.

#LifeEsidimeni: 'Gauteng's suspended Health HoD's testimony was contradictory'

#LifeEsidimeni: 'Gauteng's suspended Health HoD's testimony was contradictory'

Dr Barney Selebano testified for a third day on Thursday. Stephen Grootes spoke to EWN reporter Masego Rahlaga.

Ramaphosa doesn't want to be bridesmaid again: Karima Brown

Ramaphosa doesn't want to be bridesmaid again: Karima Brown

Political analyst Karima Brown sat down with the deputy president for the #702TownHall on Thursday.

Reports of H5N8 bird flu in South Africa

Reports of H5N8 bird flu in South Africa

An outbreak on a farm in the Free State and another in Mpumalanga have been confirmed.

"Bird flu hard to prevent because it doesn't walk or jump - it flies!"

"Bird flu hard to prevent because it doesn't walk or jump - it flies!"

SA Poultry Association's Kevin Lovell says plans are in place to stop the possible spread to SA after an outbreak in Zimbabwe.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] 'We are dealing with an outbreak of Listeriosis' - Dr Thomas

[LISTEN] 'We are dealing with an outbreak of Listeriosis' - Dr Thomas

Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the NICD Dr Thomas says that Listeriosis is problematic because it isn’t notifiable.

Publisher saves South African students billions with free textbooks

Publisher saves South African students billions with free textbooks

This year we're going to hit a million downloads of free textbooks in SA - James van der Westhuizen, country manager for Bookboon.

‘Conflicted’ Zuma will never again have say in appointing NPA boss, court hears

‘Conflicted’ Zuma will never again have say in appointing NPA boss, court hears

Shaun Abrahams is no longer the National Director of Public Prosecutions and President Zuma can't appoint his replacement.

Steinhoff money woes and why you should care

Steinhoff money woes and why you should care

The company lost around R100 billion leaving the JSE reeling in one of the biggest private sector business scandals.

Few retirement funds unaffected by Steinhoff implosion (i.e. you just got had)

Few retirement funds unaffected by Steinhoff implosion (i.e. you just got had)

Your money, and Steinhoff… Bruce Whitfield interviews Certified Financial Planner Peter Calitz.

‘There were clear warning signs at Steinhoff. All of which fund managers missed’

‘There were clear warning signs at Steinhoff. All of which fund managers missed’

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Sygnia Group CEO Magda Wierzycka.

Zille: 40 000 affordable housing units in the pipeline for WC

Zille: 40 000 affordable housing units in the pipeline for WC

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says the government plays a crucial role in the provision of affordable housing in the province.