Bird flu outbreak in Rustenburg

    “Bird flu was diagnosed in domesticated wild birds in Rustenburg, in the Bo-dorp residential area. The outbreak involves wild ducks and about 60 other animals, like canaries, swan and parrots in the vicinity of immediate risk,” said Emelda Setlhako, spokesperson for READ.
    The disease was detected after the deaths of ducks that were kept domestically in a homestead. The ducks had since been sent to the laboratory for further testing by a private veterinarian. The birds are kept for recreational purposes and are privately owned.
    “A dedicated team from the Department has been set aside to deal with the infected household to avoid spreading of the disease. A team of officials has also been deployed to collect information using the Community Policing Forum communication network,” she said.
    An area of 1 km from the index point has been demarcated as a zone for surveillance.
    “The affected household has been placed under quarantine and the owner was also advised on bio-security measures that were to be taken to prevent spreading of the virus to neighbouring houses by humans and also by faeces of affected birds. They have also been advised to secure their bird enclosures to prevent wild birds from entering. The Department has assisted the affected family with an effective disinfectant that kills the virus.”
    She said the big poultry trading facilities identified in Rustenburg are all outside a 7 km radius from the outbreak index point and all of them have been officially informed of the outbreak and asked to take additional precautionary bio-security measures.
    “The outbreak has not affected trade in a negative way since all the facilities are outside the radius of the outbreak.
    The Department has communicated this outbreak to all affected stakeholders including veterinarians and farmers in the province and the Provincial Disaster Management Committee has been put on high alert. The Department would also like to advise the local community to cover their bird feed and water to avoid attracting wild birds. The community at large is requested to report any mortality of birds to the nearest State Veterinary office.”

      AUTHOR
    Daleen van Manen
    Journalist

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