Veterinary dept declares Zim free of avian flu

HARARE - Zimbabwe has reported it was now free of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu that hit the country between May and August last year.

Poultry producer Lanark, a commercial farm  25km south of the capital Harare, was hit with the outbreak on its farm, which was quarantined and the site affected depleted of all birds.

Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services principal Unesu Ushewokunze-Obatolu, said the the strain - which poses little risk to human health - has now been contained.

“Effective January 31, 2018, this notice serves as an official declaration of the end of the avian influenza that hit our country over the period May to August 2017.

“Operations at Irvine’s Private Limited are now reverting to normal,” Ushewokunze-Obatolu said in a statement.

“The Department ... and all stakeholders remain on high alert as the global status of avian influenza or bird flu remains unpredictable.”

She said the general surveillance of all key animal diseases countrywide continues as usual. She said the ban on poultry products from South Africa still stands as the country has not been declared free from avian influenza.


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