Farms brace for bird flu

Chicken and egg suppliers in the province have increased biosecurity after the first of Avian Influenza (AI) broke out in Uitenhage this week.

DESPERATE: Jabulani Richard Ngwenya of JR Ngwenya Poultry Farm is a chicken farmer implementing strict biosecurity to safeguard his farm from the deadly bird flu Picture: GALLO IMAGES

A farm owned by Sovereign Foods was forced to cull 5000 chickens this week after the AI was detected.

Alwyn Krull of Sunrise Eggs in Gonubie said Avian Influenza was a huge threat to the industry and they had increased their biosecurity after the outbreak.

“We are stopping movement in and out of our [chicken] houses. We are disinfecting more and we have foot baths.

“This is a huge threat to the industry and the influenza is spreading very quickly. Hopefully it will subdue because of more heat coming with summer fast approaching.

“I do see a shortage of chicken and eggs if this is not managed and controlled,” Krull said.

Greg White of ANCA Foods in Stutterheim described the new detection in the province as a “concern”.


“The industry is calling for the department to introduce vaccinations. Currently now at ANCA we are following very strict rules in order to ensure the safety of birds,” White said.

ANCA Foods began as ANCA Farm Fresh Chicken in 1992 and distributes chicken throughout the Eastern Cape and the South Western Districts.

On Thursday Sovereign Foods announced that they had detected AI on their farm. They have six poultry houses, each with about 4500 birds.

Provincial rural development and agrarian reform spokesman Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said they did not have an update for the Eastern Cape public at the time of writing yesterday afternoon.

In June, the sale of live chickens was banned in the country after the strain was detected in South Africa. It was first detected in Mpumalanga.

The department’s provincial veterinary services chief director Dr Lubabalo Mrwebi said: “The department would like to call on poultry farms to contact local state veterinary services if they notice high mortality of their chickens immediately.” —


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