Thursday, 22 November, 2018

WC govt to discuss impact of bird flu outbreak

Ben Pena | 28 June, 2017, 22:20

The initial case saw highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 confirmed in a broiler breeder site in Mpumalanga on Thursday 22 June 2017.

Botswana on Tuesday announced that it has banned poultry products from neighbouring South Africa after an outbreak of the avian flu that was reported last week.The South African government last week announced cases of Avian flu on a farm in Mpumalanga.

However, the department is warning consumers to stay away from poultry that they might find dead, dying or sickly.

However‚ ZFPA said the ban did not affect them because there were no exports to talk of.

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The suspension is in line with Namibia's Animal Health Act, it said.

"Realistically, there is a chance of spread of the disease through those sales. This particular type of avian influenza is found more often in birds that have been alive for quite a while and not the baby chicks".

"It takes approximately four days for the infected bird to show clinical signs of the disease".

Currently, roughly 19 000 chickens are scheduled to be culled after contracting the highly contagious virus, while 5 000 have already died. "We have put this measure in place to prevent further unintended spread of the influenza", department spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo said. It can easily be transmitted after contact with the infected animals, as well as from their sources of water and food. Farmers who suspect infection in their poultry should notify the local State Vet office or Extension officer who will visit the farm, investigate the incident and collect samples from the birds to rule out the disease.

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