Prov­ince fac­ing a cri­sis as thou­sands of chick­ens culled

Daily Dispatch - - News - By SIYA TSEWU

CHICKEN and egg sup­pli­ers in the prov­ince have in­creased biose­cu­rity after the first of Avian In­fluenza (AI) broke out in Uiten­hage this week.

A farm owned by Sov­er­eign Foods was forced to cull 5 000 chick­ens this week after the AI was de­tected.

Al­wyn Krull of Sun­rise Eggs in Gonu­bie said Avian In­fluenza was a huge threat to the in­dus­try and they had in­creased their biose­cu­rity after the out­break.

“We are stop­ping move­ment in and out of our [chicken] houses. We are dis­in­fect­ing more and we have foot baths.

“This is a huge threat to the in­dus­try and the in­fluenza is spread­ing very quickly. Hope­fully it will sub­due be­cause of more heat com­ing with sum­mer fast ap­proach­ing.

“I do see a short­age of chicken and eggs if this is not man­aged and con­trolled,” Krull said.

Greg White of ANCA Foods in Stut­ter­heim de­scribed the new de­tec­tion in the prov­ince as a “con­cern”.

“The in­dus­try is call­ing for the depart­ment to in­tro­duce vac­ci­na­tions. Cur­rently now at ANCA we are fol­low­ing very strict rules in or­der to en­sure the safety of birds,” White said.

ANCA Foods be­gan as ANCA Farm Fresh Chicken in 1992 and dis­trib­utes chicken through­out the East­ern Cape and the South Western Districts.

On Thurs­day Sov­er­eign Foods an­nounced that they had de­tected AI on their farm. They have six poul­try houses, each with about 4 500 birds.

Pro­vin­cial ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and agrar­ian re­form spokesman Mvusi­wekhaya Sicwet­sha said they did not have an up­date for the East­ern Cape pub­lic at the time of writ­ing yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

In June, the sale of live chick­ens was banned in the coun­try after the strain was de­tected in South Africa. It was first de­tected in Mpumalanga.

The depart­ment’s pro­vin­cial vet­eri­nary ser­vices chief di­rec­tor Dr Luba­balo Mr­webi said: “The depart­ment would like to call on poul­try farms to con­tact lo­cal state vet­eri­nary ser­vices if they no­tice high mor­tal­ity of their chick­ens im­me­di­ately.” — siyat@dis­patch.co.za

Pic­ture: GALLO IM­AGES

DES­PER­ATE: Jab­u­lani Richard Ng­wenya of J R Ng­wenya Poul­try Farm is a chicken farmer im­ple­ment­ing strict biose­cu­rity to safe­guard his farm from the deadly bird flu

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