Outbreak of Newcastle disease reported in South Africa

March 13, 2012SOUTH AFRICAAn outbreak of Newcastle disease has killed more than 170 chickens in the North West, the provincial department of agriculture and rural development said on Friday. The outbreak in the Greater Taung Local municipality, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District has so far caused the death of about 140 chickens – belonging to five farmers – in the Pudimoe village, said spokeswoman Bonolo Mohlakoana in a statement. Additional cases were reported in Leshobo village where more than 25 chickens were reported dead within a week, according to IOL News. Agriculture MEC Boitumelo Tshwene has expressed his concern to the department’s state veterinarians and urged farmers to report any mortality cases immediately.  “There is no need however, for other poultry farmers in the province to panic since measures have been taken to control the spread of the outbreak, in that the trading and movement of chickens and turkeys or their products within or between the affected villages is currently prohibited,” he said. Ms. Mohlakoana said vets would go to the affected areas on Friday to start a vaccination program. “There is no treatment for Newcastle disease currently, therefore prevention through vaccination is important,” she said. Newcastle disease is a contagious and fatal disease caused by a virus that affects domestic birds (chickens and turkeys) as well wild birds. –TPS
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