AGRICULTURAL NEWS - The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has confirmed an outbreak of Avian Influenza (AI) on a commercial chicken farm in Randfontein.
Reggie Ngcobo, DALRRD spokesperson stated that prior to the outbreak in Randfontein, outbreaks had been reported on four other commercial chicken properties.
“This brings the number of HPAI H5N1 outbreaks to five – four of which are in Gauteng and one in North West.”
He explained that all affected farms have been quarantined, with control measures being implemented.
Genetic evaluation has confirmed that the outbreak reported in commercial layers on 13 April in Gauteng and the one at commercial broiler breeders in the North West, seemed to have been caused by non-identical AI strains.”
According to Ngcobo, the two outbreaks were likely caused by separate introductions, and warned that it was crucial for the whole country to stay on high alert.
He urged everyone to treat any increase in deaths among poultry and other bird species as potential avian influenza, until proven otherwise.
“All increases in death rates must be reported to the state veterinarian responsible for the particular area or relevant provincial director immediately.
The contact details are available here.
Ngcobo explained that the zoonotic risk to people is very low, so the consumer has no reason to be concerned since no human infection due to the circulating strains has been reported in Europe.
He stated that following the outbreak on 13 April, all neighbouring countries, except Lesotho which has banned exports from Gauteng, have lifted the ban on exports of live chicken and unprocessed products.
The DALRRD has been notified by Hong Kong of a temporary suspension of the importation of all poultry (carcass, parts and offal) products including eggs, from the affected municipalities within Gauteng and North West,” stated Ngcobo.