Calls for struggling ostrich industry to be declared a national disaster
By Lelethu Mquqo
28 June 2011
The provincial government of the Western Cape has called for the problems facing the ostrich industry to be officially recognised as a national disaster.
At least 23 000 ostriches have had to be killed since April following an outbreak of avian influenza.
Provincial spokesperson for the Agriculture Department, Wouter Kriel, says between 20 000 and 50 000 workers in the industry may lose their jobs.
He says a disaster declaration will free up relief money that can then be put back into the troubled industry.