There are 63 confirmed cases of avian influenza in the Western Cape. We have had no new infections at commercial farms since 18 October.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the confirmed cases included 12 layer farms. To date, 2.8 million commercial poultry birds have died or been culled. We have lost more than 60% of our layer hens.
“Animal Health technicians are assisting farmers to make sure that poultry houses are properly cleaned to minimise risk of re-infection when re-stocking takes place. This is the first time this strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has presented in South Africa. In other countries, the number of cases seems to decrease in summer, due to the heat.”
Minister Winde said he was aware that the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, was continuing their investigation into vaccination and potential compensation – both of which are national mandates.
Economists from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture are continuing to work on the economic impact of this outbreak through their mapping analysis.
The latest data on egg shortages, as well as the effect on food prices, will be complete in late November, when the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy releases its report.
The Joint Operations Centre established by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre will meet this week to provide a progress report on the provincial government’s response to the outbreak.
The humanitarian relief plan is being rolled out in partnership with social organisations.
Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (responsible for disaster management operations), said: “The Joint Operations Centre remains in place and is continuously monitoring the situation across the province. The use of the JOC has helped speed up vital processes and improve communications between stakeholders, ensuring that the outbreak can be tackled in a more efficient manner. Both matters are of critical importance when dealing with any disaster.”
For media queries, kindly contact:
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town