JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff), Senzeni Zokwana, said on Wednesday that draft compensation guidelines relating to poultry farms hit by the Avian Influenza outbreak would be released by September.
“The recent outbreaks of the H5N8 strain of Avian influenza have sent shockwaves through the poultry industry of South Africa after it was first detected on June 22,” he said.
He said negotiations were ongoing to find a way to provide incentives to farmers who had experienced massive losses due to destruction of healthy birds and eggs in an effort to eradicate the disease.
The outbreaks have been reported in Mpumalanga, where 260 000 chickens were culled in two farms, Gauteng and recently in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the North West and Western Cape provinces.
The department stressed that so far 24 outbreaks had been detected in the country – with 10 outbreaks in commercial chickens, three in ostrich, another three in backyard chickens and eight in wild birds and birds kept as a hobby.
On Monday the Western Cape department of agriculture also reported that it had to cull about 110 000 chickens, to take the number to 370 00 culled in only two provinces, after 30 000 chickens were reported dead from the disease.
- BUSINESS REPORT