A Closer Look,  Barometer

Avian Flu 2023 Cases as of August

Avian flu is a current and devastating threat to our poultry industry, and a new strain has been detected.  The following list can be regarded as mere statistics, but it also gives a snapshot of the anguish that would be experienced by a farmer – especially an emerging farmer – that is faced with such an outbreak.

2023 cases to date as of August

20th April:  Detected on egg farm near Paarl, 120 000 hens culled.

24th April:  Detected on nearby egg farm near Paarl, 150 000 hens culled.

26th April:  Detected on neighbouring farm, all hens culled.

26th April:  Detected on a free-range egg farm near Paardeberg.  All hens culled.

All the farms affected in the above outbreak were also affected in 2017/2018.  Total losses in the area estimated at 1,2 million birds.

23rd May:  Detected again in the Paardeberg area.  13 000 hens culled

24th May:  Detected but unconfirmed in George.  Culling done as a precautionary measure.  300 000 birds culled.

3rd June:  Detected but unconfirmed in Delmas, Mpumalanga.  10 000 hens culled.  Investigations revealed the infection came from a neighbouring farm that had not reported the disease.  This case was confirmed to be H7N6, which is a new strain of the virus and the first case in South Africa where it has infected poultry.  It was previously found only in ostriches.

12th June:  Second outbreak of variant H7N6 in Delmas, near the first outbreak.  75 thousand hens culled.

20th June:  Second outbreak on the same farm.  120 000 hens culled.  H5N1 also found on a farm in George.  350 000 hens culled

3rd July:  H5N1 found on KZN broiler breeder farm.  15 000 birds culled.

21st July:  N7N6 detected at new farm in Midrand, production had not yet begun.  All 37 000 hens culled.

21st July:  H7N6 found in new breeder farm in Gauteng.  All birds culled.

3rd August:  H7N6 found in new egg production farm in Delmas.  All hens culled.

3rd August:  The new variant found in a new farm in Welkom.  It appears that the infected birds had been bought from a Delmas farm which brought the virus to Welkom.  All birds culled.

11th August:  N7N6 detected in Benoni in a commercial egg farm.  All birds culled.

11th August:  N7N6 found in Cullinan.

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