The Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services issued a public notice a few days ago officially declaring an end to the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza or bird flu in domestic poultry in Zimbabwe.
“Effective 31st January, 2018, this notice serves as an official declaration of the end of the Avian Influenza or Bird Flu outbreak that hit our country over the period May to August, 2017. Operations at Irvines P/L are now reverting to normal.”
Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services principal director, Dr Unesu Ushewokunze-Obatolu said the country will however remain on high alert as the deadly disease remains unpredictable.
“The Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services and all stakeholders remain on high alert as the global status of Avian Influenza or Bird Flu remains unpredictable.
General surveillance for all key animal diseases country wide continues as usual. In addition, the public is required to cooperate with Veterinary import controls to limit introduction of Avian Influenza from other territories,” she said.
The outbreak of avian influenza last year at one of Irvine’s Zimbabwe breeder farm, Lanark Farm, located on the outskirts of Harare costed the company close to $7.3million and the company had to cull over 200,000 birds as a precautionary measure to contain the disease. You can read about the initial outbreak here.
Following the outbreak of bird flu in Zimbabwe, the Vet Department banned poultry products from South Africa in order to control spread of the disease. Due to constrained local supplies, there were shortages and price increases of chickens and table eggs due to high demand.