DURBAN, The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province may be forced to cull all chicken in areas where cases of bird flu are detected because of the province's proximity to Mpumalanga and Free State provinces where the bird flu disease has been reported.

The avian influenza outbreak in some parts of South Africa has also resulted in neighbouring countries banning chicken imports from South Africa.

Earlier in JuneS South Africa, along with Botswana, banned chicken imports from Zimbabwe after the bird flu was detected at a farm of one of Zimbabwe's leading poultry companies.

Department spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana said Wednesday they were calling on commercial and backyard farmers to report any case of large numbers of birds dying to the nearest state veterinary office so that the department can send veterinary officials for follow-up investigations and collect samples for confirmation.

The intention is that we get as quickly as possible the information in the event where there is a reported case of avian flu, so that our team can quickly go and quarantine those farms or those households who are farming chicken whether as substantial or commercial farmers. The first step is to, therefore, kill all of those bird which are affected, so that we ensure that it does not spread.


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