20 October 2017

South Africa: MEC Alan Winde Gives Update On Avian Influenza in Western Cape

press release

There are 56 confirmed cases of avian influenza in the Western Cape. This is up from 50 confirmed cases last week.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the number of culled birds stood at 2.7 million, of which 2.6m were layer hens.

"There are just over 4.2million layer hens in the Western Cape, meaning we have lost 63% of our egg laying poultry.

"We have received reports that farms in Gauteng have started restocking, after their properties have shown to be 100% free of the virus. We will be monitoring this process closely. State vets in the Western Cape are also working with farmers to disinfect chicken houses. We can only start restocking at properties once there are no traces of the virus. We are calling on farmers to work with us in this regard."

There are currently 144 ostrich farms under quarantine. No ostriches have been culled as a result of avian influenza.

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture delivered an update on avian influenza and its economic impact at a media briefing this week. Apart from the R800 million in production losses, a further R75 million loss in the cull buyer market is expected.

The Joint Operations Centre established by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre met yesterday to provide a progress report on the provincial government's response to the outbreak.

The humanitarian relief plan is being rolled out in partnership with social organisations.

Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (responsible for disaster management operations) says the province is monitoring the ongoing situation on a daily basis and is working hard to curb the impact and any further spread of the disease in the province.

"Some shortages of poultry products including eggs, may be experienced in the province over the coming weeks as a result of the action taken to tackle the avian influenza. This was unavoidable given the extent of the outbreak. We are doing what we can to assist the industry to recover as quickly as possible.

Issued by: Western Cape Agriculture

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