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.