Hartbeespoort has also been hit by the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5 and H7).
The North West Province recorded another four cases, one in Skeerpoort, last week.
“These outbreaks were confirmed through the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method which is definitive. These farms are layer farms and are also registered as ZA compartmentalised facilities with the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD),” said North West provincial government spokesperson, Emelda Setlhako.
“As a precautionary measure, quarantine notices have been issued and a proposal for culling the affected farms has been issued to them. The Province is currently maintaining the quarantine until a positive response has been received from the National Director of Animal Health (NDAH) at DALRRD. Provincial veterinary services officials are on the ground investigating possible outbreaks in other parts of Bojanala Platinum District Municipality,” she said.
Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that affects several species of food-producing birds, pet birds, and wild birds. Occasionally, other mammals including humans, may also contract avian influenza.
Poultry is defined by the World Organization for Animal Health as all domesticated birds, used to produce meat or eggs for consumption, for the production of other commercial products, for restocking supplies, or for breeding. Backyard poultry is excluded from the WOAH definition of poultry only if the birds are kept in a single household, the products of which are used within the same household exclusively with no direct or indirect contact with poultry or poultry facilities.
To prevent the spread of the virus, farmers are advised to only accept eggs from reputable suppliers who have a track record of good biosecurity. Farmers should also pick up and clean faeces and droppings from wild birds around chicken houses as they are carriers of the virus. Open patios for free-ranging birds and roofs of chicken coups should be closed to prevent entry to wild birds attracted by chicken feed.
Farmers are also advised that South Africa does not vaccinate for HPAI and should rather increase biosecurity to prevent the disease from being introduced in their establishments.
It is advised that any increased mortality in birds should be reported to the nearest State Veterinary office in the North West Province.