Province’s commercial poultry farms

Province’s commercial poultry farms reach one month infection-free mark

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Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, provided an update on avian influenza during a sitting of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. This was in response to a parliamentary question on the status of the outbreak. 

Please see an excerpt from Minister Winde’s reply below:

There are currently 68 confirmed cases of avian influenza in the Western Cape. The rate of infection is slowing down considerably. There have been no new infections at commercial poultry farms since 18 October. 

To date, 2.8 million poultry have died or been culled. This includes:

 

  • 2.64 million layer chickens
  • 121 000 broiler breeder chickens
  • 32 671 ducks

 

In the ostrich industry, infected ostriches do not become sick or die and so these farms have been placed under quarantine and no birds have been culled. Owing to meat export regulations, all ostrich farms within 10kms of a positive farm are also placed under quarantine. Currently, approximately 140 ostrich farms are under quarantine.

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

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

We are continuing to monitor the economic impact of the outbreak.

The egg layer industry in the Western Cape employs around 1 200 workers.

In terms of egg supply, the industry has advised that it is responding to the increased demand for eggs in specific regions on an ongoing basis.

Of immediate concern is the shortage of eggs in South Africa, causing further food inflation. We are waiting for the release of price information to be published on 22 November from Statistics South Africa. The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) is also completing a study that will give more insights on the economic impact of AI. This study is set to be released next month.

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