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Humanitarian relief plan as Western Cape battles avian flu

Two million birds have been culled in the province since the outbreak in June.

Picture: Freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN - A humanitarian relief plan is being drafted this week to support farming communities in the Western Cape affected by the outbreak of avian flu.

Two million birds have been culled in the province since the outbreak in June.

Economic opportunities MEC Alan Winde is part of a panel that updated the media on the extent of the disease earlier on Monday.

MEC Winde says early estimates project a total of R800 million in immediate production losses to the poultry industry.

“It is something that is knocking our province hard, we’ve taken this into a disaster management kind of arena and that’s why local government is here.”

He says agricultural economists have started mapping the potential impact of the outbreak on jobs and food security.

To date, 36 cases of avian flu have been confirmed across the Western Cape and 70 ostrich farms are currently under quarantine.

Africa's largest bird park situated in Cape Town The World of Birds has seen the latest cases of the virus after a chicken tested positive several days ago.

Just under 200 birds there had to be culled.