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Cases of Bird flu reported in Gauteng Province

Bird flu cases have been detected on two commercial layer chicken farms in Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Wednesday said the two farms were immediately placed under quarantine by the state veterinarian after the HPAI H5N8 virus was confirmed.

The department said the necessary measures have been taken to contain and eliminate the disease as efficiently as possible on both farms.

“Forward tracing was done and cull chicken depots were identified, which had received live cull chickens from one of the affected farms in the last 21 days.  The records of these cull depots are being followed up to trace as many of these chickens as possible.”

The department said the new Poultry Disease Management Agency (PDMA) system of registering people buying and selling live chickens made it possible to trace the culls.

The registration process has progressed well, and a number of initial challenges were ironed out.

The department encouraged all role players in the poultry industry, involved in the buying and selling of live chickens, to comply with the registration and other requirements that are designed to allow the trade of live chickens to continue without compromising animal health.

The department said the de-population of the two poultry sites affected in June is now complete.  The carcasses, waste material, affected eggs and manure have been contained and will be dealt with to prevent the spread of the disease, as well as to prevent contamination of the environment.

“Export of chickens and chicken products from registered HPAI free compartments is continuing to countries that accept guarantees from such compartments. There is good cooperation from registered compartments to increase the testing frequency to monthly testing,” the department said.