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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 11:29, August 26, 2006
S. Africa to cull water fowl to prevent bird flu
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Millions of rands worth of water fowl belonging to Hilko Insel, South Africa's largest fowl breeder, are being culled by local agriculture department near Pretoria to prevent a bird flu outbreak.

The department feared that there is a possibility that the fowl, including ducks, geese and swans, carry a strain of the bird flu virus, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reported on Friday.

The Pretoria High Court has ordered that the culling of Insel's birds and those on a farm in Rustenburg, Gauteng Province, should go ahead, said the national broadcaster.

The interdict follows calls by farmers in Gauteng and the North West Province to put a stop to the culling of the birds.

The culling follows investigations into the illegal importation of eggs from the Netherlands.

Prior to the interdict, 573 birds had already been culled.

"South Africa is determined to maintain its avian influenza- free status and does not allow the importation of any live birds, poultry or poultry products from any country that has not been free for at least the past three months," said Steve Galane, spokesman of Gauteng provincial department of agriculture.

Source: Xinhua

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