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South African farmers urged to check poultry for bird flu

24 Juin 2017

Some 5,000 birds died of the highly contagious disease and the remainder at the 24,000-birds farm was in the process of being culled, the ministry said.

"After it leaves our borders, the sanitary requirements can not be guaranteed".

"Producers need to chlorinate and filter water from [the] open water sources on their farms used to water their poultry, as [this] could have been contaminated with avian influenza [through] wild birds", Nkuna said.

"This particular strain of the disease has been in Europe for well over a year and it hasn't caused any problems for people". In May, it was isolated in Zimbabwe.

There's been an outbreak on a farm near the Vaal River on the border between Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

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However, the government can not stop wild birds from migrating from Zimbabwe to South Africa.

The South African Poultry Association's Kevin Lovell says human beings are safe.

"At this stage, there is a very limited impact on chicken supply", Sapa assured, noting that the birds affected account for a "very small percentage" of the total South African chicken flock.

H5N8 is not unsafe to humans, and the birds affected comprise a very small percentage of the total South African chicken flock. "The department has agreed with the company to euthanise the birds in affected houses in collaboration with the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA)", read the statement.

"We [SAPA] will wait for the neighbouring countries to decide what they want to do", Nkuna said.

South African farmers urged to check poultry for bird flu