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Monday, April 18, 2011

Avian influenza outbreak in South Africa, 5,000 ostriches culled

Via The Examiner, excerpt :

" Approximately 5,000 ostriches were culled on Friday after a strain of avian influenza, H5N2, was detected on five farms in the Oudtshoorn area of the Western Cape of South Africa. The virus also affected an unknown number of chickens.

According to Agriculture Department spokesman, Wouter Kriel:

“The birds will have to be destroyed to prevent the further spread of the disease”, said Mr. Kriel, as quickly as possible. “It’s a virus and it’s spread by birds. You can’t really prevent birds from interacting with animals on your farm”.

The very deadly H5N1 avian influenza

The influenza virus, which poses no risk to humans, caused the South African Agriculture Department to implement a ban on exports of the birds. The ban, of course, is bad for the 20,000 people in the area who rely on this business for a livelihood. Because of this, the government is looking at some compensation package for the affected farmers."

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