Agricultural Ministry urges Mpumalanga residents not to eat sick or dead birds

The departments has asked that people not eat any dead or sick birds and avoid buying bird meat from flea markets.

A chicken farm. Picture: Freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG – The Agriculture Ministry says it’s asking farmers in Mpumalanga to adhere to the security measures in assisting in containing the outbreak of avian influenza, otherwise known as bird flu in the province.

The department has urged South Africans not to panic and that the outbreak is under control.

The outbreak of bird flu was first announced in Zimbabwe earlier this month, prompting the South African government to quickly halt imports from the neighbouring country.

The Agriculture Ministry says the outbreak could affect people who eat infected chicken.

The department has asked that people not eat any dead or sick birds and avoid buying bird meat from flea markets.

Spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo says, “It can affect humans who had consumed the infected chickens but no such cases have been reported in South Africa.

“So that’s why we’re encouraging people not to eat any bird or sick birds.”

She says one of the main concerns are the workers who deal with infected chickens on the farms affected, she says they are encouraged to take effective safety measures.