The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has called on poultry farmers in coastal areas to be on high alert and improve their biosecurity amid fears of a fresh outbreak of the deadly avian flu. Last week, the Department of Environmental Affairs confirmed the spread of H5N8 avian flu to African penguins along the coast of the Western Cape, particularly Boulders Beach. There are fears this could affect poultry farms in coastal areas. The poultry industry had largely managed to contain the disease, first detected in 2017, with no new outbreaks reported on farms in recent months. The South African Poultry Association told MPs recently the culling of birds to contain the outbreak of avian flu had res-ulted in a loss of R954m. Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokeswoman Bomikazi Molapo said at the weekend the department had received reports of avian flu in penguins and other wild water birds. "This is of concern as these serve as reservoirs for the virus ove...

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