THE MAMAs will have to stop selling live chickens for survival.
This follows the outbreak of what is called ‘pathogenic avian influenza H5N8’ or bird flu in Mpumalanga this week.
As a result, no live chickens will be permitted to be sold and the hardest hit will be in locations and townships, were live chickens are sold for livelihood.
Gift Moferefere, who sells live chickens in Mapetla, Soweto, says she’s devastated by the news and obviously will affect her business.
“I’m worried because this is my only survival. This means my supplier would no longer be able to deliver poultry and this does not augur well for my business and family,” says the mother of three- kids from Lesotho.
It means for the next coming weeks it will be bad for business. How will we survive bathong (people), she asked with a sad face?
As per Governments’ ban on live poultry, no stats have been released on the outbreak impact it might have caused at the farm or residents.
“The affected farm has been quarantined and culling of the affected animals has been completed. The Department [of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries] is conducting both forward and backward tracing to monitor the movement of all the poultry in and out of the farm to establish the source of the influenza,” the department said.
“The department has established a 30km control zone in Mpumalanga and the Free State. The provinces are conducting surveillance in the control zone for other affected properties. All provinces have been notified and are on high alert.”
The pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 was confirmed in a broiler breeder site in Mpumalanga on Thursday. H5N8 is a rapidly spreading viral disease that can infect many types of birds and it is highly contagious. It exists naturally in many birds and can be transmitted by coming into contact with infected animals or through ingestion of infected food or water.
SA Poultry Association CEO Kevin Lovell said the disease is carried to poultry by wild birds.
“It is normally introduced by water birds. Once it is in poultry, it can spread. As a precautionary measure, the government has told us to stop live sales to minimise the risk of the disease spreading. Many businesses will be affected by the ban. It will be largely smaller farmers who sell live birds and people who sell live chickens in the township areas.”
Meetings with stakeholders have been planned to investigate the severity of the outbreak and what measures to put into place, including other provinces.
For now, what remains is ordinary person’s such as Gift, who survives on this business will be affected dearly.