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Five cases of bird flu recorded in Western Cape, affected farms under quarantine

Bird flu has been identified in the Western Cape.
Bird flu has been identified in the Western Cape.
Image: Chayakorn Lot/123rf.com

The department of agriculture, land reform & rural development on Wednesday said there have been five highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) cases at commercial chicken farms in the Western Cape.

All farms affected with the bird flu have been placed under quarantine and no live animals, birds and eggs are allowed to be removed from the farms.

“The department would like to reassure consumers that commercial poultry meat and eggs are safe to eat. Care should, however, be taken when preparing food to avoid other food-borne pathogens.

“Birds infected with HPAI get sick quickly and die. Generally, the first sign of sick animals, including birds, is drop in production, meaning that sick birds will produce few (if any) eggs,” said Reggie Ngcobo, agriculture department spokesperson.

Ngcobo said that this, with the added mitigation of placing farms under quarantine, means no eggs from infected properties will make their way on to shop shelves.

“We encourage all poultry farmers, including those with birds kept as a hobby or for zoo purposes, to adhere to strict biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction of HPAI

“We also urge farmers and individuals to report any suspect outbreak to the responsible private or state veterinarian.” said Ngcobo.


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