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Togolese veterinary take part in the slaughter of infected poultry and destruction of eggs | Coastweek

LOME Togo (Xinhua) -- Togolese veterinary take part in the slaughter of infected poultry and destruction of eggs after recent cases of bird flu in Adeticope farm located about 20 kilometers north of Lome, capital of Togo. According to authorities, Togo has joined the list of countries infected with avian influenza which includes Ghana, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Bird flu or avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. XINHUA PHOTO - VICTOR KELENGA

Uganda Agriculture ministry declares end of Bird Flu outbreak

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda on Saturday declared the end of the bird flu outbreak, which has led to the death of thousands of birds and affected the country’s poultry export.

Christopher Kibanzanga, state minister for agriculture, told reporters that Uganda is now free from bird flu or avian influenza that broke out in January this year.

The outbreak was declared on Jan. 15, affecting domestic and wild birds in the three central districts of Wakiso, Kalangala and Masaka, along the shores of Lake Victoria.

"The laboratory samples collected from domestic poultry birds and wild birds have been confirmed negative since March to date," Kibanzanga said.

The outbreak killed at least 50,000 domestic birds and 10,000 wild birds in the country, according to figures from the ministry.

Kibanzanga said the outbreak negatively impacted on the country’s economy, resulting from trade bans on export of poultry products to neighboring Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The minister said the Kenyan government has agreed to partially lift the poultry trade ban through compartments.

Compartments are certified and licensed firms that have fulfilled the exporting conditions.

Uganda is among the countries in sub-Saharan Africa that face a high risk of a bird flu outbreak as it is crisscrossed by several routes for migratory birds, which are carriers of the virus.

Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

The infection can cause a wide spectrum of symptoms in birds, ranging from mild illness, which may pass unnoticed, to a fatal disease that can cause severe epidemics.

According to the WHO, avian influenza viruses do not normally infect humans but there have been instances of certain highly pathogenic strains causing severe respiratory disease in humans.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Bird flu spreads to ostrich farms in South Africa

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), type H5N8, has spread to two ostrich farms near Cape Town, authorities said on Tuesday.

Quarantine has been instituted and the application of disease control measures have commenced, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said in its update report on HPAI H5N8 outbreak in the country.

The newly detected outbreak bring the total number of outbreaks to 16, eight of which were in commercial chickens, three outbreaks in wild birds, two outbreaks in commercial ostrich, two outbreaks in backyard poultry and one outbreak in birds that were kept as a hobby, according to the department.

The outbreak has triggered a nationwide concern. South Africa had never reported an outbreak of bird flu before.

The H5N8 strain was first reported on a farm in Mpumalanga Province in northern South Africa in June.

The department said it has received requests to vaccinate and these requests are under consideration.

"As can be appreciated, all possible pros and cons have to be carefully assessed in order for a decision to be reached," department spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo said.

At the moment, vaccination against HPAI is prohibited for the long term benefit of the poultry industry at large.

The department has applied for additional funding to deal with the disease control measures, including compensation where applicable, Molapo said.

Auction houses, buyers and sellers are still required to register with the Poultry Disease Management Agency (PDMA) to ensure traceability, he said.

Also on Tuesday, the Western Cape Provincial Health Department assured the public that ostrich and chicken meat on sale in retail outlets is safe for human consumption.

Avian influenza is a viral respiratory disease of birds believed to be transmitted by wild migratory birds.

In Southern Africa, the H5N8 strain of the disease also affected the poultry industry in Zimbabwe, where thousands of commercial birds have died or had to be culled.

This strain of the virus has so far shown no sign of being infectious to people. Constant monitoring of exposed people in South Africa has supported this.

There is currently no preventive vaccine or treatment for HPAI H5N8. Current practice in most regions of the world requires the culling of infected birds.
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Zimbabwe culls 215,000 chickens following avian flu outbreak

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe has culled 215,000 chickens to stop the spread of the highly contagious bird flu virus, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Thursday.

Zimbabwe last week announced a second outbreak of the H5N8 bird flu at Lanark farm just outside the capital Harare, which recorded another outbreak in May.

South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo also reported an outbreak of the disease in June.

In response to the bird flu outbreak, Southern African Development Community countries and FAO are currently meeting in South Africa to find ways of preventing the further spread of the disease.

In a statement released at the meeting, FAO said if not controlled, the bird flu outbreak could lead to huge economic losses to SADC member countries due to culling of poultry and trade restrictions, news agency New Ziana reported.

Since the first outbreak in the region in May, member states had implemented a series of actions including heightened surveillance, quarantine, importation bans of poultry and poultry products from affected countries and awareness raising, FAO said.

"In addition, depopulation has already taken place in affected countries. South Africa has so far culled over 800,000 birds while Zimbabwe puts the figure at approximately 215,000 birds.

"This is likely to have a knock on effect on the availability of table eggs and poultry meat for consumers in the region," FAO said.

Avian influenza is a virus that occurs naturally among wild birds worldwide and it affects domestic poultry and other birds and animal species.

The disease can only be transmitted to chickens by direct contact with an infected bird, manure or contaminated equipment.
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Namibia Government amends South Africa poultry ban

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibian Government has revised the ban on poultry products from South Africa when a number of fast food outlets had indicated that they would close down shop if nothing was done.

The ban on poultry from South Africa was imposed on June 23, 2017 when the South African Department of Forestry and Fisheries detected bird flu at a breeder flock in Villier, close to the Mpumalanga provincial border.

Namibia announced the ban of all poultry and ostrich products from South Africa on June 23, 2017.

In a statement issued Friday, however, the chief veterinary officer Adrianatus Museke amended the ban.

Museke said Namibia will allow live poultry and ostriches originating from compartments approved by the DAFF and registered in terms of Veterinary Procedural Notices 44.2012.01 provided such compartments are outside a 90-kilometer radius around the Vaal Dam that borders Gauteng and Free State provinces.

He also said that raw poultry and ostrich meat and table eggs from compartments approved by the Department of Forestry and Fisheries and registered in terms of Veterinary Procedural Notices 44.2012.01 and slaughtered at approved abattoirs provided such compartments are outside a 90-kilometer radius around the Vaal Dam.

Museke further said that the verifying veterinarian should endorse on the health certificate that the compartment tested negative for Avian Influenza and that the results are not older than 30 days of endorsement.

Cooked poultry products, the statement said, processed in line with the articles of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code will be also be allowed for imports.

"All other poultry, wild birds, domestic birds or products derived from the aforementioned remain ineligible for imports into Namibia," the statement said.

The amendment on the ban comes after several shops that depended on poultry imports from South Africa had experienced a down spiral on their businesses.

KFC that has three shops in Windhoek alone had gone on for more than two weeks without some of its signature meals such as hot wings and the Street Wise packs.

Another fast food outlet, Barcelos had said that they would consider closing down some shops because their chicken products should come from South Africa.

             

 

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