More than 50 000 ostriches culled since April 2011

It has been less than 15 months since the H5N2 avian influenza virus was first detected on an ostrich farm in Oudsthoorn and since then more than 50 000 ostriches have been culled in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus which has already cost the industry more than R1 billion.

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In one of the latest rounds of routine testing, done during June, the agriculture department found three new cases of the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza virus on three farms in the southern part of the Western Cape leading to the slaughter of 8000 birds, and administering a heavy blow to farmers who have grown desperate for the export market to reopen.

Read the full story in the 27 July 2012 issue of FW