Another chicken farm records avian flu outbreak

Consumers need not fear, says agriculture department

The zoonotic risk to people is very low, says the agriculture department. Stock photo.
The zoonotic risk to people is very low, says the agriculture department. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Tawatchai Prakobkit

Another outbreak of avian influenza on a commercial chicken farm in Randfontein, Gauteng has been announced by the agriculture, land reform and rural development department.

Preceding this outbreak, four outbreaks were detected on other commercial chicken properties, bringing the total to five HPAI H5N1 outbreaks — four in Gauteng and one in the North West.

“All affected farms have been quarantined, with control measures being implemented,” said the department.

Genetic evaluation has confirmed that the outbreak reported in commercial layers on April 13 in Gauteng and the one on commercial broiler-breeders in the North West seem to have been caused by non-identical strains. “These two outbreaks were therefore more likely to have been caused by separate introductions.”

The department said no human infection, due to these circulating strains, had been reported in Europe.

“The zoonotic risk to people is very low, the consumer has no reason to be concerned.”

People with chickens are urged to treat any increase in deaths of poultry and other bird species as potential avian influenza, until proven otherwise. All increases in mortality rates must be reported to the state veterinarian responsible for the particular area or the relevant provincial director immediately.


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