Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) is on high alert following confirmed reports of an outbreak of high pathogenic avian Influenza (HPAI) on a commercial chicken-layer farm in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng in South Africa last month.
The same farm experienced an outbreak of avian influenza in 2017.
About 300 birds died of HPAI on the commercial chicken-layer farm.
The farm was immediately placed under quarantine, affected birds were destroyed and the farm was disinfected.
Gauteng veterinary authorities are monitoring the situation while investigations are currently underway to ascertain the extent of the outbreak.
DVS chief director, Dr Josphat Nyika confirmed the repots and said they were on high alert.
Farmers should tighten farm or premises bio-security ad keep birds away from areas that are visited by wild birds.
“We urge farmers control access of people and equipment to poultry houses, avoid provision of water and food in a way that may attract wild birds but rather feed free-range birds undercover or inside a confined structure,” he said.
Dr Nyika said farmers should maintain proper disinfection of the property, poultry houses and equipment.
He urged farmers to report illnesses and deaths of birds to your nearest Government veterinarian.