To date, the Western Cape has four poultry farms detected as infected with the avian influenza virus.

The infected farms are situated near Worcester, Malmesbury and Hopefield.

Two farms have been confirmed to have H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), though laboratory confirmation is still pending for the other two farms.

 The relationship to the viruses present in the north of the country is unconfirmed.

The total number of birds that have been culled or have died from HPAI totals approximately 134 000.

Western Cape Veterinary Services is in the process of investigating other suspected cases.

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture urges the public to be vigilant and report unusual mortalities in any birds to their local state veterinarian. Contact details are available at https://www.elsenburg.com/services-and-programmes/veterinary-services-0#s=Animal-Health-and-Disease-Control 

Poultry meat and eggs are safe to eat.

Strains of the avian influenza virus recently identified in South Africa carry a low risk for human infection. However, humans can transmit the virus from sick birds to other birds on their clothes and hands. People are therefore advised to handle all dead birds with gloves and wash their hands afterwards.


Media Enquiries

Daniel Johnson

Spokesperson for Minister Ivan Meyer

Tel: 079 990 4231

Email: Daniel.Johnson@westerncape.gov.za