KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
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
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
Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by
type A strains of the influenza virus, according to World Health
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
"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
"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.
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
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
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.