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Bird flu found on Western Cape, SA commercial poultry farm

Staff Writer |
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza on a commercial poultry farm in the province.

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The department’s veterinary services programme confirmed the disease has spread to a farm in the Paardeberg region. It said the cause is most likely contact with wild birds.

Since then, meetings have taken place between poultry veterinarians and stakeholders such as the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Over 10 000 chickens have already died and culling of the rest of the farm and composting of mortalities has already been started.

The farm has been placed under quarantine.

The virus has not yet been confirmed as H5N8, which is the strain in outbreaks in other parts of the country. However, the H5 typing, and the nature of its effect on chickens, is indicative of it being the H5N8 strain. This strain of the disease has already wreaked havoc in the poultry industry in Zimbabwe, where thousands of commercial birds have died or had to be culled.

In Heidelberg, three ostrich farms have tested positive. No birds have died on the farms. The affected farms remain under quarantine. â– 

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