Zim market not yet affected by bird flu, says association
HARARE – The local poultry market is yet to feel the impact of the contagious bird flu disease which has killed thousands of chickens, an official has said.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation, Zimbabwe has culled 215,000 chickens to stop the spread of the highly contagious bird flu virus which was reported for the second time last week at Lanark farm near the capital.
Lanark farm is owned by the country’s largest poultry producer, Irvine’s.
South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo also reported an outbreak of the disease in June.
Zimbabwe Poultry Association chairperson Solomon Zawe told New Ziana that the industry is yet to feel the effects of the bird flu disease outbreak.
“We anticipate a shortage of table eggs, poultry meat and day- old chicks in the next quarter. But for now the impact is not yet felt,” he said.
Zawe said poultry farmers should always look out for the signs and symptoms of bird flu.
“At our premises, biosecurity is most important and farmers should report high mortality of birds to the veterinary department as well as avoiding too many visitors because the disease moves in the air,” he said.
Avian influenza is a virus that occurs naturally among wild birds worldwide and it affects domestic poultry and other birds and animal species. The disease can only be transmitted to chickens by direct contact with an infected bird, manure or contaminated equipment. – New Ziana