Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana has stated that the current strain of H5N8 virus is not harmful to humans and precautions have been taken to stop the spread.
During a media briefing, the minister announced that various precautions, not limited to the culling of over 260 000 chickens, have been implemented to ensure that only chickens that have been approved are sold on the shelves.
"The sellers of live chickens, including the commercial as well as the traders who buy and sell those chickens must register with the Poultry Disease Management Agency”, explained Zokwana. “Only registered sellers and buyers are allowed to trade and it is the responsibility of both the seller and buyer to ensure their counterpart is registered."
The outbreak began in Mpumalanga and temporarily stalled poultry trade with neighbouring countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Chicken currently on the shelves is said to be uncompromised and safe to consume.