No Avian Flu detected in Western Cape
The Western Cape’s Agricultural Department says it is on high alert after an outbreak of Avian Flu have been reported in Gauteng.
About 300 birds had died from the virus on the commercial chicken-layer farm in Ekurhuleni.
Avian influenza 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.
Ostrich and chicken meat on sale in retail outlets is safe for human consumption.
Western Cape’s Agriculture MEC, Dr. Ivan Meyer said that no such cases have been reported in the province.
‘’There are no such cases reported in the Western Cape. 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.’’
‘’Farmers and poultry producers are encouraged to heighten their biosecurity measures to prevent potential virus introduction from wild birds or their faeces.’’ Meyer added.
The MEC urged farmers to be vigilant.
‘’It is crucial to keep poultry and other animals away from wild birds and their body fluids through screens, fencing or nets. Commercial poultry operations and backyard poultry owners should avoid introducing the virus through contaminated clothes, footwear, vehicles or equipment used in waterfowl hunting‘’.
Meyer added that 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
Done By: Mitchum George