The Democratic Alliance, Western Cape Provincial Parliament, SA, notes with concern the confirmation of a suspected case of the H5N8 bird flu virus in the Free State’s Villiers district just last week which jeopardised some 24000 chickens
"With the virus having been detected and confirmed inside our borders, the threat of contagion to other provinces is potentially imminent.
"I call on Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, Alan Winde, to be vigilant and take proactive measures to prepare the province for a potential outbreak of bird flu.
"We must make sure that the Western Cape is adequately prepared to deal with a possible outbreak as this could severely hurt our province’s poultry industry and the thousands of jobs which it supports.
"The Minister must make sure that the Western Cape is ready to treat and quarantine any infected poultry should the bird flu virus be detected. Our first defence against the spread of this virus is to inform our poultry industry to be on high alert, and to provide any support necessary.
"As the DA in the Western Cape, we remain committed to making sure that our agricultural industries, and the jobs which they foster and sustain, are healthy and protected."