SA's bird flu outbreak threatens poultry industry - minister

Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said government would consider importing fertile eggs to help close a supply gap due to the culling of thousands of birds.

 Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Senzeni Zokwana . Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - An outbreak of bird flu in South Africa threatens the country's poultry industry and jobs, Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said on Tuesday after meeting with poultry industry executives.

Zokwana said government would consider importing fertile eggs to help close a supply gap due to the culling of thousands of birds following the outbreak earlier this year that led neighbouring countries to ban imports from South Africa.

The H5N8 strain has been detected in several countries in Europe, Africa and Asia over the past two years, with its spread aided by wild bird migrations. Highly pathogenic among fowl, it poses little risk to human health.