Bird flu hits Mpumalanga

Bird flu hits Mpumalanga
AT RISK: The flu is dangerous to poultry, notices have been sent to poultry owners on the department’s bio-security measures. PICTURE BY The Chronicle

The outbreak of the infectious disease follows one in Zimbabwe earlier this year which affected poultry.

The department of agriculture‚ forestry and fisheries say poultry in a farm in Mpumalanga tested positive to Avian Influenza.

“The department has agreed with the company to euthanise the birds in the affected houses,” the department said in a statement.

The department said the affected property had 12 self-contained sites with a total of approximately 285 000 birds and approximately 24‚000 birds affected.

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The affected farm is on the banks of the Vaal River in Villiers, close to the Mpumalanga provincial border.

The deadly influenza is carried by live birds which make it difficult to control and contain to a particular area.

Notices have been sent out to all poultry farm owners‚ outlining the biosecurity measures they have to take, and detailing how the department will conduct  surveillance of the flu.

“We have intensified our early detection and requested owners to enhance their biosecurity in order to prevent contact with wild birds,” the department said.

(edited by ZK)

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