SA BIRD FLU UPDATE
The industry continues to be under immense pressure from the current Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 that’s devastating the industry. As previously reported, the industry has thus far been affected mainly in the long living birds, layers, breeders, ostriches and ducks, as well as wild birds. The outbreaks have so far been reported in the Mpumalanga, North-west, Kwazulu-natal, Western Cape and Gauteng provinces. It is estimated that over a million birds have been affected, with as many chickens culled.
By Friday 1 September 2017, a total of 34 outbreaks had been reported to the International Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Of these, ten outbreaks are in commercial chickens, six in commercial ostriches, one in ducks, eleven in wild birds, three in birds that were kept for hobby, and three in backyard poultry. It’s very likely that more outbreaks will still be reported before the weather gets warmer and the rains start. In most countries, the number of outbreaks decreased significantly with warmer weather.
The industry continues to work with government to look at the control measures, including vaccination, import of hatching eggs to close the gap caused by culling, as well as addressing the issue of compensation.