By Joe-Chintha Garises
WINDHOEK, Aug. 8 -– The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has lifted the measures that were placed to stop the spread of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
Chief veterinary officer Dr Albertina Shilongo confirmed that the disease is now under control and measures imposed in the Erongo region can be lifted.
More than 1 000 birds died of the disease mainly the Cape cormorants.
“The first report of dead birds was on 13 January 2022 at Sea Bird Island at Walvis Bay and Central Veterinary Laboratory confirmed the HPAI H5N1 strain on 25 January 2022.
“Other areas affected include stretches along Swakopmund. The disease was confirmed only in wild birds mainly Cape cormorants occurring along the coastline of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund,” Shilongo said.
She added that to control the HPAI outbreak, measures were instituted with immediate effect by the ministry.
The movement of live domestic and wild birds in and out of the coastal areas of the Erongo region was banned, and guano harvesting and movement from the Erongo region were among the restrictions instituted to control the spread of the disease.
The last case reported on the HPAI disease was on 18 March 2022.
“The outbreak is considered to have been successfully controlled, hence the lifting of all restrictive measures effected on 02 August 2022” Shilongo added.
“The Ministry would like to inform all poultry farmers that despite the lifting of restrictive measures, poultry farmers should continue to apply bio-security measures and safety measures should be practised during guano harvesting and handling,” she stressed.