Good news for WC ostrich industry

The Western Cape’s ostrich industry has reason to be relieved as a recent incident of avian influenza on an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn would not affect the industry.

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According to Wouter Kriel, spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, they received confirmation from the Chief Director: Veterinary Services that the avian influenza was identified as a low pathogen strain, which meant it was not threatening and had little chance of spreading.

According to Kriel, this was good news for the industry as it would not affect the process SA has already started to get an EU import ban on raw ostrich lifted. The EU banned the import of raw ostrich meat from SA two years ago, after a devastating outbreak of avian influenza. The industry has since lost millions of rand.

“Due to the low pathogen nature of this situation, no culling will be done,” said Kriel. He said 50 000 birds have been culled since 2011. “This is all to the cost of R60 million,” said Kriel

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