Having first been identified on a commercial poultry farm on the East Rand, the avian influenza (bird flu) outbreak has now spread further afield.

From one East Rand farm to a total of five farms in Gauteng and North West Province, the fatal and highly contagious disease has been identified at four Western Cape farms near Worcester, Malmesbury and Hopefield.

Meanwhile, a number of countries have started banning imports of South African chicken, chicken products, eggs and live chickens. Among the latest is Namibia, which issued and immediate blanket ban and withdrawal of all existing import permits for South African poultry and product.

Poultry owners must remain vigilant and on the lookout for symptoms of the disease. For more on that, click here.

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