Bird flu recently made its way to the Western Cape and while it was first thought that the disease was confined to a few ostrich farms, it has spread to a commercial poultry farm in the province, killing at least 30 000 chickens.
IOL reported on Tuesday that the farm, in the Parrdeberg region, has 140 000 chickens on it.
The department said that it has not confirmed that it was the “highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) type H5N8”, however, IOL reports:
“H5 typing, and the nature of its effect on chickens is indicative of it being the H5N8 strain, according to the department.”
The three ostrich farms in Heidelberg have not had any deaths, but the farms remain under quarantine. No decision has been made on whether to cull ostriches.
The department reiterated that chicken as safe for human consumption.
Bronwynne Jooste, spokesperson for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture MEC Alan Winde told IOL:
“It is strongly recommended that any movement of pet birds, racing pigeons, breeding birds and show birds be limited as far as possible and covered by a movement permit if coming from within 30km of an infected farm.”
Any sick or dead birds – wild and poultry – must be reported to state vets. Expors of poultry products has also been suspended.