By Staff Reporter
BLOEMFONTEIN-The Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has confirmed an outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
A statement released by the department’s spokesperson, Zimasa Leputla, says three cases were reported at three poultry farms in the province.
“Laboratory tests conducted gave a positive result, confirming the HPAI was found on those farms,” read part of the statement.
The virus was also recorded as an H5 virus which is known to be a high pathogenic strain.
The farms where the cases have been recorded are in Villiers, Parys and Wesselsbron.
“Whilst this virus is known to cause mortalities of up to 100 percent among susceptible poultry, not all of the current outbreaks are consistent with this scientific fact, as on some of these farms the mortality of birds was relatively low,” the department explained.
It said it had deployed its field veterinarians to attend to this outbreak and urged other field personnel to increase vigilance to ensure early detection and rapid response.
Poultry facilities across the province have also been advised to step up their biosecurity measures in order to help contain the spread of the disease.