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Alan Winde: Bird flu has cost CT farmers at least R800m

Economic Opportunities Minster says last year 2.4 million of the province's layer hens were culled as a result of the infection, impacting on egg production & supply.

Picture: freeimages.com.

CAPE TOWN - The Provincial Economic Opportunities Department says the bird flu outbreak has cost Cape Town farmers around R800 million.

MEC Alan Winde says the department has seen infections in ostriches, wild birds and African penguins.

Winde says last year 2.4 million of the province's layer hens were culled as a result of the infection, impacting on egg production and supply.

He adds it will take a while for the industry to recover.

“Since October last year still no further infections in formal or organised agriculture. The infections that we are still experiencing in the province have been isolated around wild birds and specifically, we have picked up of later, infections in the marine bird environment.”

Winde says farmers are currently disinfecting farms, and after the quarantine period has been lifted, they will have to restock their farms.

Meanwhile, infections among endangered penguins are being treated.