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South Africa’s food security threatened by Avian flu

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South Africa
South Africa

The current avian flu outbreak may jeopardize food security in South Africa if it’s not properly managed, a senior official said Thursday.

“There’s an acknowledgment that if we are not successful in managing the avian flu, that might be threatening the food security, in particular the availability of poultry products, especially eggs and meat,” Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said at a media briefing.

Trade measures in the form of imports to manage the availability of fertile eggs, table eggs and poultry meat may be implemented, and South African ministers of agriculture, trade and industry were focusing on mechanisms and deciding what should be a preventative step, according to Ntshavheni.

Over 5 million chickens that were laying eggs have been culled in South Africa due to the avian flu outbreak. So far, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Free State have been the provinces most severely impacted.

South Africa reported the first bird flu cases in commercial farms in April in the Western Cape Province, according to the South African Poultry Association.

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