Bird Flu: South Africa culls 260,000 birds

South Africa has culled over 200,000 birds so far to contain an H5N8 outbreak, Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana says.

South Africa has confirmed outbreaks of avian flu, which is often transmitted by wild birds, on at least two farms.

Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana on Tuesday suspended poultry imports from South Africa this week after the outbreak.

South Africa and Mozambique banned poultry imports from Zimbabwe on June 8 after a bird flu outbreak there.

Botswana, which only imports five per cent of its poultry needs, said it would no longer buy poultry meat, processed products and feeds from South Africa.

The South African government says the restriction is a precautionary measure to avoid equal infection  as well as protect the people.

Zimbabwe imposed a similar ban while Namibia also halted imports from Belgium which has experience an outbreak of bird flu earlier this year.

South Africa on Monday ended the sale of live hens throughout the country in a bid to control the outbreak that was detected on the farm of a commercial broiler breeder.

Poultry producer Astral, which had previously confirmed that H5N8 had been detected at its breeding facilities on the outskirts of the Free State, said on Tuesday it had quarantined the affected site and culled one hundred and fifty thousand birds, around six per cent of its breeding stock.


Mazino Dickson