SA poultry association concerned over flu in Zimbabwe chickens

South African Poultry Association CEO Kevin Lovell says the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza — known as bird flu — in Zimbabwe’s poultry industry is “very worrying“.

The Department of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries announced on Thursday an immediate suspension of all trade in live poultry‚ meat and eggs from Zimbabwe‚ saying it was standard practice after the detection of the flu. But the industry also believes little risk is being posed to humans.

“We have heightened inspections of all consignments‚ including all private and public vehicles at all our ports of entry‚ especially in and out of Zimbabwe‚” the department said.

Can the chicken industry be rescued? And what about the ICC? Ramaphosa askedDeputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to answer questions in parliament today on a number of issues‚ including whether South Africa will forge ahead with a withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

Limpopo’s veterinary authorities were on high alert and had increased surveillance‚ especially of backyard chickens. “Communities must be extremely vigilant‚ especially in areas of Limpopo ... that neighbour [on] Zimbabwe and report any unusual mortality of chickens or other birds to the state veterinary services immediately for samples to be collected.”

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