23 August 2017

South Africa: Poultry Industry Execs Seek Solution to Bird Flu

A task team will be set up to work on scientifically based considerations regarding the vaccination of poultry against bird flu.

This was one of the agreements reached during a meeting between Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana and executives in the poultry industry.

Minister Zokwana met with CEOs and senior managers in the poultry industry in a closed meeting to find solutions and discuss mitigation strategies to the current bird flu outbreak.

The current outbreak is threatening the existence of the South African poultry industry, as well as jobs in the sector.

During a meeting held on Monday afternoon, the industry raised concerns relating to the principles and guidelines of compensating affected farmers.

Another area of concern was vaccination of poultry against bird flu. Industry also requested to be given permission to import fertile eggs to close the gap as a result of culled birds.

The meeting agreed to set up a task team consisting of representatives from industry and government to work on scientifically based considerations regarding vaccination.

"The department committed to providing guidelines on compensation. The department further committed to consider the request of importing hatching eggs, considering the necessary level of protection desired to protect the national population by the end of the week," ministry spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo said.

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