By Teboho Serutla
Lesotho has responded to the recent outbreak of avian flu in South Africa’s Gauteng province by banning all poultry products from the province and trading permits allowing for the their importation.
Lesotho’s director general of veterinary services, Dr Relebohile Mahloane says on April 16, 2021 his office and all the stakeholders agreed to ban the issuing of any poultry trading permits to Gauteng, as well as the poultry products importation from this province.
Dr Mahloane says, for the time being, poultry trading permits will be issued by the Maseru veterinary offices only, to avoid the risk of poultry products from the affected areas crossing into Lesotho.
According to a statement from the RSA department of veterinary services, it is not clear yet whether the flu is highly pathogenic or not, but investigations are still being carried out.
The statement says the affected farm was also part of H5N8 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in 2017, and this year approximately 300 birds have been reported dead at a commercial farm site in Ekurhuleni.