An­other out­break of avian flu

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES -

POULTRY pro­ducer As­tral Foods con­firmed a sec­ond out­break of highly path­o­genic H5N8 bird flu at one of its farms, the com­pany said yes­ter­day. The out­break of avian flu on South African farms has prompted neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, in­clud­ing Zim­babwe, Namibia and Botswana, to ban poultry im­ports from South Africa. As­tral con­firmed an out­break of bird flu at its Stander­ton breed­ing farm in Mpumalanga af­ter avian flu was pre­vi­ously de­tected on its Vil­liers farm. “This new out­break is be­ing han­dled with ex­treme care, dili­gence and with the ex­pe­ri­ence gained from the first out­break,” As­tral said. The poultry pro­ducer said the first out­break cost the com­pany about R25 mil­lion, but could not yet give the fi­nan­cial im­pact of the lat­est out­break. In July, the Depart­ment of Agriculture con­firmed four out­breaks of bird flu, plac­ing the farms un­der quar­an­tine and stop­ping the move­ment of chick­ens and chicken prod­ucts on to and off the farms in an ef­fort to pre­vent it spread­ing. The H5N8 strain has been de­tected in sev­eral coun­tries in Europe, Africa and Asia over the past two years, with its spread aided by wild bird mi­gra­tions. Highly path­o­genic among fowl, it poses lit­tle risk to hu­man health. – Reuters

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