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Ostriches Infected With Bird Flu in Mossel Bay

Ostriches were found to be infected with bird flu in the north-west region of Mossel Bay.

But now the Department of Land Affairs and Agriculture said that the situation is under control. //After all the tests were done it was found that the poultry were infected with H5N2 strain which is harmless to the humans. Spokesperson Nare Mabuela said that the entire area was under surveillance. It was found that the infection did not spread and was confined to a couple of adjacent properties. The European Union (EU) announced a ban on the import of ostrich meat from the Western Cape districts of Mossel Bay and Riversdale. Also an entire ostrich farm near Mossel Bay was placed under quarantine.

As of now about 60 ostriches which were suspected of having bird flu were killed. Anton Kruger, chief executive of the SAOBC (South African Ostrich Business Chamber) said that the ban did not affect the poultry industry as it is the lean season for ostrich meat consumption in Europe. Similar outbreaks occurred in South Africa around the year 2004 but steps were taken to eradicate the H5N2 strain. But the health department said that since the virus does not affect humans South African ostrich and poultry products are safe for human consumption. Kruger said that steps are being taken to tighten up bio-security to prevent such incidence from occurring again.


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