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UPDATE: Western Cape Avian Influenza outbreak

27 Oct 2021

The outbreak of Avian Influenza amongst wild seabirds in the Western Cape continues, with Dyer island in the Overberg the major hotspot.

Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, says all efforts continue to manage the situation, with the primary focus on responding swiftly to areas where dead and sick birds are found and then implementing a clean up.

“Dyer Island is an important wild bird breeding colony in the Overberg region. Sadly we continue to find roughly 500 dead birds per day on the island, dying or dead. By far the majority of the dead birds reported during the outbreak are Cape Cormorants.”

Bredell has thanked all the multiple stakeholders who continue to work hard to bring the outbreak under control and prevent any further spread.

“This is a team effort and we are grateful for everyone’s help. We must again remind the public not to handle or transport any sick or dead birds in order to prevent any possible spread of the virus.”

The Disaster Management Centre urges the public across the province to continue to be vigilant and report unusual behaviour or mortalities in any birds to their local municipality, conservation authority or state veterinarian. The SPCA and NSPCA may also be contacted. Contact details for state veterinarians are available at https://www.elsenburg.com/services-and-programmes/veterinary-services-0#s=Animal-Health-and-Disease-Control

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