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SA reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, industry body says

Outbreak at a farm in the Free State.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, agricultural industry body group AgriSA said on Friday.

Poultry producer Astral confirmed that the H5N8 bird flu strain was found on its Villiers farm on the outskirts of the Free State province, it said in a statement.

The company said the farm had been quarantined and the site affected would be depleted of all birds.

“Astral assures all stakeholders that everything is being done to contain this incident. If this incident is contained to that specific site and/or farm Astral’s contingency plans do ensure continued operations with no impact,” Astral Managing Director, Agriculture, Gary Arnold said.

South Africa suspended all trade in birds and chicken products from neighbouring Zimbabwe this month after it reported an outbreak of H5N8 at a commercial poultry farm.

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