HARARE, June 6 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s biggest chicken breeder, Irvine’s on Tuesday said it had detected and contained an avian influenza outbreak at one of its properties.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported last Friday that the outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu had occurred at a commercial poultry farm in Mashonaland East province.
The virus was detected on a farm with 2 million birds and killed 7,845 animals while another 140,000 birds were culled, according to a report from the Zimbabwe’s livestock and veterinary services.
“Irvine’s Zimbabwe advises its stakeholders that it has identified, and has contained, a form of avian influenza on an isolated site that it owns outside of Harare,” said the company in a statement.
“Irvine’s, together with the Zimbabwe Veterinary Department, have responded by placing the affected site under quarantine and the entire flock that was affected has been culled and disposed of in accordance with the relevant veterinary regulations.”
Irvine’s is an associate company of Innscor.
Avian influenza is a virus that occurs naturally among wild aquatic 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.
The farm is close to a small dam where there are a number of different migratory waterfowl, which are suspected to be the source of infection.