Cabinet has taken swift action to control the bird flu spread in South Africa. Control measures are in place to manage the spread of highly pathogenic influenza (HPAI) H5 and H7.
According to SANews, reports revealed outbreaks of HPAI H5 in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. HPAI H7 has also been identified in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West provinces.
These outbreaks have raised concerns about food security and potential trade measures, including imports, to ensure the availability of fertile eggs, table eggs, and poultry meat.
Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, stressed that farmers must adhere to prescribed biosecurity measures to help control the spread of the virus.
Furthermore, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, and the poultry industry are collaborating to register potential vaccines.
These vaccines’ safety, efficacy, and quality are paramount for registration.
As of September 21, 2023, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development reported 50 HPAI H7 and 10 HPAI H5 outbreaks.
Gauteng province has been hit the hardest by HPAI H7, with 37 confirmed cases. At the same time, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, and the Free State have reported two, two, two, and one case, respectively.
The reported number of chicken deaths is 107,705, with 1,318,521 chickens culled. The death toll has resulted in a total loss of 1,426,226 chickens.
The Western Cape has recorded seven HPAI H5 outbreaks, with KwaZulu-Natal reporting three outbreaks.
Cabinet assures South Africans that these control measures aim to mitigate the impact of Bird Flu on the poultry industry and safeguard the country’s food security.
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