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Dept addresses spread of bird flu along Cape coast

The Environmental Affairs Department’s Zolile Nqayi says to manage the bird flu spread they’ve decided to halt all research activities involving the handling of seabirds.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

CAPE TOWN - The Environmental Affairs Department says stringent biosecurity measures are being implemented at various Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sancob) institutions to address the spread of the H5N8 strain of Avian Flu.

The bird flu outbreak has affecting several seabird species such as the swift terns, African penguins and Cape gannets.

The swift terns appear to be the most affected.

The department’s Zolile Nqayi says to manage the bird flu spread they’ve decided to halt all research activities involving the handling of seabirds.

“We also want the public not to handle any seabirds. While it only affects birds, it’s not rare that it could cause infections in humans.”

In 2017, 2.4 million layer hens were culled in the Western Cape as a result of the bird flu outbreak, impacting egg production and supply.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)