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S. Africa to cull 25,000 birds to contain bird flu

S. AFRICA TO CULL 25,000 BIRDS TO CONTAIN BIRD FLU

South African authorities have confirmed a second case of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu strain at a layer farm in Standerton, in the eastern Mpumalanga province.

Bomikazi Molapo, spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries told Anadolu Agency Tuesday more than 25,000 infected birds at the Standerton farm would be culled.

The first case of avian influenza was discovered in Villiers, a town in the Free State province, which borders Mpumalanga.

"We finished culling the birds in Villiers last week Friday, and are busy with the ones in Standerton,'' Molapo said in a text message to Anadolu Agency.

In a statement released Monday, the department said: "To date, no human cases of infection with avian influenza H5N8 have been reported."

The department also said meat from healthy poultry was safe for consumption, citing strict meat inspection processes at abattoirs.

South Africa which exports poultry products to several countries says it has formally notified its trading partners of the outbreak in Mpumalanga.

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