SA poultry farmers urged to treat any animal deaths as possible avian flu

Commercial chicken farms in Ekurhuleni and Tshwane reported outbreaks while another farm in the JB Marks Local Municipality, in the North West, has also been placed under quarantine.

FILE: The agriculture and rural development department said Namibia, Botswana, and Lesotho have banned poultry and related raw products from areas hit by the bird flu outbreaks. Picture: 123rf

JOHANNESBURG – Government has urged poultry farmers to treat any animal deaths as potential avian influenza cases as South Africa battles an outbreak of a highly infectious strain across various farms.

This comes after commercial chicken farms in Ekurhuleni and Tshwane reported outbreaks while another farm in the JB Marks Local Municipality, in the North West, has also been placed under quarantine.

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The agriculture and rural development department said Namibia, Botswana, and Lesotho have banned poultry and related raw products from areas hit by the bird flu outbreaks.

ALSO READ: Botswana bans SA poultry products following bird flu outbreak

The department's Reggie Ngcobo said while no human infection has been reported, due to the circulating strains, farmers must take precautionary measures.

"We urge everyone to treat any mortality of poultry as potential avian influenza until proven otherwise. All increases in mortality rates must be reported to the responsible state vet of the area immediately. Furthermore, everyone keeping poultry and any other birds should ensure that their safety measures are of the highest standard possible."

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