The South African Cabinet has implemented measures to manage and control the spread of highly pathogenic influenza (HPAI) H5 and H7, commonly known as Bird Flu, in the poultry industry.
- The Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces have experienced outbreaks of HPAI H5, while Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West provinces have reported cases of HPAI H7.
- Farmers are encouraged to adhere to prescribed biosecurity measures to prevent further spread of the outbreaks. These measures aim to safeguard the poultry industry and ensure food security.
- To manage the availability of fertile eggs, table eggs, and poultry meat, trade measures such as imports may be implemented. These measures aim to balance food supply and security.
- The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, along with other relevant authorities and the industry, are exploring the registration of possible vaccines. Safety, efficacy, and quality are key considerations for vaccine registration.
- As of 21 September 2023, a total of 50 HPAI H7 outbreaks and 10 HPAI H5 outbreaks have been reported. The highest number of HPAI H7 cases is in Gauteng, while the Western Cape has the most HPAI H5 outbreaks.
- The reported number of chicken deaths stands at 107,705, with 1,318,521 chickens culled. The total loss of chickens due to the outbreaks amounts to 1,426,226.