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Thousands of ostriches slaughtered on S. African farms due to avian flu
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2012-07-13 07:32

The ostrich industry has been dealt with a new blow by a fresh outbreak of bird flu that prompted the slaughter of thousands of ostriches in South Africa's Western Cape Province, industry sources said on Thursday.

The outbreak affected three farms -- one near Albertinia and two near Heidelberg in the province, according to the sources who refused to be named.

It came after the ostrich industry stated earlier that it had brought the H5N2 disease in the province under control and was a step closer to having its export status re-instated.

The Cape Times said in an earlier report that a total of about 8,000 ostriches were slaughtered in accordance with the government's "stamping out" policy which stipulates that all birds must be slaughtered once infection is detected.

"It's a terrible thing for the whole industry," SA Ostrich Business Chamber CEO Piet Kleyn told the newspaper.

"We have to look at other control measures because this stamping out is possibly not the way to go."

The European Union (EU) imposed a ban on all ostrich meat exports from South Africa following the initial outbreak in 2011.

This cost the ostrich industry millions of rands every month.

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