Western Cape authorities on high alert after bird flu detected in Gauteng
The South African Poultry Association confirmed a bird flu outbreak on Tuesday.
Botswana has banned poultry products from South Africa following the announcment.
Around 300 birds died of H5 Avian Influenza at a commercial chicken layer farm in Ekurhuleni, in the East Rand in Gauteng.
There are no such cases reported in the Western Cape, according to Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer.
Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, is a viral respiratory disease of birds believed to be transmitted by wild migratory birds.
In Southern Africa, the H5N8 strain of the disease affects the poultry industry.
In a statement, MEC Meyer has assured consumers that ostrich and chicken meat on sale in retail outlets is safe for human consumption.
We are thankful that the South African Poultry Association has placed the whole industry on high alert, and appropriate biosecurity contingency plans are being implemented.Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Agriculture MEC
Meyer has urged farmers and poultry producers to remain vigilant and heighten their biosecurity measures to prevent potential virus introduction from wild birds or their faeces.
He adds that it's important to report sick or dead birds - both wild birds and poultry - to local authorities, veterinary services, public health officials, and community leaders.
It is crucial to keep poultry and other animals away from wild birds and their body fluids through screens, fencing or nets.Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Agriculture MEC
Commercial poultry operations and backyard poultry owners should avoid introducing the virus through contaminated clothes, footwear, vehicles or equipment used in waterfowl hunting.Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Agriculture MEC
The MEC says the veterinary services continue to monitor the situation in the Western Cape and will remain vigilant.
For further information, contact the Head of Veterinary Services in the Western Cape, Dr Gininda Msiza, at 021 808 5002 or GinindaM@elsenburg.com
Source : https://www.123rf.com/photo_127978504_indoors-chicken-farm-chicken-feeding.html?vti=o9a2tov3n0mppks3wb-1-1
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