Another case of Avian Influenza reported in Mpumalanga

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has reported another case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8, which has been detected in a commercial layer farm in Mpumalanga.

The influenza was detected in the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality on 7 August 2017 and control measures were applied and all birds culled.

The first cases of HPAI H5N8 in ostriches were confirmed in two commercial ostrich farms in the Western Cape in Hessequa Local Municipality on 9 August 2017.

The department said that a quarantine has been instituted and the application of disease control measures have commenced.

The recently detected outbreaks bring the total number to 16, including eight which were in commercial chickens, three in wild birds, two in commercial ostrich, two in backyard poultry, and one outbreak in birds that were kept as a hobby.

“The department has received requests to vaccinate and these requests are under consideration. As can be appreciated, all possible pros and cons have to be carefully assessed in order for a decision to be reached. 

“At the moment, vaccination against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is prohibited for the long term benefit of the poultry industry at large. The department has applied for additional funding to deal with the disease control measures, including compensation where applicable,” the department said in a statement.

The department said auction houses, buyers and sellers are still required to register with the Poultry Disease Management Agency (PDMA) to ensure traceability.

Furthermore, gatherings of chickens should be avoided but in instances where this cannot be avoided, all registration requirements must be complied with.

The department said continued cooperation of the public and the poultry industry in the timeous reporting of sick and dying birds to Government Veterinary Services is vital for the speedy response and the necessary investigations in order to effectively manage the disease threat.

“The department will pay for samples which have been submitted by the State Veterinary Officials to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research of the Agricultural Research Council. The department thanks the public and the poultry industry for their support in this regard,” the department said. – SAnews.gov.za

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