The government has prohibited the sale of live hens throughout the country in an attempt to control the outbreak of highly contagious bird flu.
Last week SA experienced the outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) had been recorded on a farm in Mpumalanga and it’s been reported to have affected around 24 000 birds.
The exports of processed poultry products, live chickens, and fresh produce will continue, depending on the requirements of importing countries, says the Agriculture Department.
The SA Poultry Association’s Kevin Lovell says: “Now there’s a greater understanding of the path of this disease, this disease was probably brought to South Africa by wild birds that have left already so that means that there’s a greater possibility that there could be a further outbreak and that the most prudent way is a temporary shutdown.”
Last month SA suspended all trade of birds and chicken products from neighboring Zimbabwe following an outbreak of H5N8 at the commercial farm.
According to EWN On Thursday, the World Organisation for Animal Health reported an outbreak on a commercial broiler breeder farm in Mpumalanga province, citing a report from the South African farm ministry.
The minister says over 5, 000 birds died and the remainder at the 24,000-birds farm was in the process of being culled.
At the same time, Zimbabwe has imposed a ban on all South African poultry products after the outbreak in Mpumalanga last week.
Zimbabwe’s outbreak of the H5N8 strain of bird flu appears to have been contained and it is now taking no chances.
That’s in response to last week’s outbreak of bird flu at farms in Mpumalanga, and in the Free State. The state ZBC is reporting that Zimbabwe has banned all trade in birds and chicken products from South Africa.
After Zimbabwe’s outbreak at a poultry farm near Harare in early June, more than 140,000 chickens had to be culled.
The ZBC says these restrictions on SA poultry products are to prevent a repeat of that.