Positive news for Western Cape farmers hit by bird flu


There has been some positive news for farmers in the Western Cape hit by the outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu).

According to an announcement by the Western Cape Economic Opportunities and Agriculture Department, no new cases of bird flu have been reported in the province this week.

The province has had 63 confirmed cases, with more than two million commercial poultry having to be culled. The majority of those culled were egg-laying hens.

But the department says that no new infections have been reported at commercial farms since October 18. This signals a possible turning point for the industry that has been severely impacted by the outbreak.

The department says it can now shift its focus to rebuilding the poultry industry in the province.

"Vets are still investigating a small number of suspected cases but the infection rate still does appear to be slowing down. The focus for animal technicians right now is to support farmers to make sure that their poultry houses are clear so they can start the restocking process," explained the department's Bronwynne Jooste.