DALRRD announces another outbreak of Avian Influenza on a commercial chicken farm in Randfonten in Gauteng

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) hereby announces another outbreak of Avian Influenza (AI) in a commercial chicken farm in Randfontein in Gauteng.

Preceding this outbreak, four outbreaks were detected on other commercial chicken properties. A total of five HPAI H5N1 outbreaks – four in Gauteng and one outbreak in North West. All affected farms have been quarantined, with control measures being implemented.

Genetic evaluation has confirmed that the outbreak reported in commercial layers on 13 of April in Gauteng and the one on commercial broiler-breeders in the North West seem to have been caused by non-identical AI strains. These two outbreaks were therefore more likely to have been caused by separate introductions. It is essential for everyone across the country to remain on high alert.

Everyone across the country is once again urged to treat any increase in mortalities (deaths) of poultry and other bird species as potential avian influenza, until proven otherwise. All increases in mortality rates must be reported to the state veterinarian responsible for the particular area or the relevant provincial director immediately. The contact details are available at https://www.dalrrd.gov.za/Branches/Agricultural-Production-Health-Food-Safety/Animal-Health/contacts/provincialveterinary

It must be mentioned that no human infection, due to these circulating strains, had been reported in Europe and thus the zoonotic risk to people is very low, the consumer has no reason to be concerned.

Following the outbreak of AI on 13 April 2021, all the neighboring countries have lifted the ban on exports of live chicken and unprocessed products, except Lesotho, which has banned exports from Gauteng. Hong Kong has notified DALRRD of a temporary suspension of the importation of all poultry (carcass, parts and offal) products (including eggs) from the affected municipalities within the Gauteng and North West.

Source: Government of South Africa

News Reporter