Wild bird mortalities in the Eastern Cape

MEDIA STATEMENT

๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฏ ๐—”๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—น ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ

Reports of dying wild birds, mostly doves, in Buffalo City Municipality were received from Mr. Neville Ganes of ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ’๐˜€ ๐—ฆ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐˜๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—ฒ, who have been collecting dead birds and submitting these to SPCA in Qonce.

As from the end of March 2021, these bird mortalities were experienced in Buffalo City Municipality mainly in Qonce. Furthermore,  reports of wild birds dying were received from Mr. Mark Marshall of ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป in Gqebera.

State Veterinarians did an urgent full scale tracing ,collecting, conducting post mortem exercise to identify the causative agent of wild birds mortalities.

These samples were immediately sent to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research (OVR) Laboratory for analysis. The initial tests were negative for West Nile Virus, Avian Influenza (AI) and Newcastle Disease (NCD). In the meantime, State Veterinary Officials continued with the tracing and sampling of birds for testing.

Samples that were sent to OVR on 07 April 2021 indicate that the birds are positive for ๐—”๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐˜†๐˜…๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜„๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜€.The mortalities of the wild birds is therefore attributed to these viruses.

Veterinarians, specializing in birds have found a pattern whereby wild doves seem to be highly susceptible to paramyxovirus in cycles of four years. The cause of the deaths is positively diagnosed as the above viruses.

๐—”๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐˜†๐˜…๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€  is a viral infection that can spread rapidly, causing high rates of pigeon illness and death and is common in many countries. It is capable of affecting other avian species including poultry but so far, there has not been any positive detection of natural infection of domestic fouls including major broiler farms. Human infection with this virus is rare and may only occur in people in close contact with infected birds, causing flu- like symptoms.

Some of the signs of this virus in birds include lethargy, vomiting or regurgitation, green diarrhea, twisting of the neck, circling, head flicking, labored breathing, runny eyes and beak. Sick birds can die within three (03) days. Infected birds shed the virus in their faeces and other discharges, contaminating the environment including water, feed, equipment and human clothing. Confirmation of the disease requires laboratory analysis. There is no specific treatment.

In mitigating spread of the disease, bird keepers are advised to implement biosecurity measures and vaccination for their birds.
      
๐—•๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ฒ:

  • Cleaning  and disinfecting footwear, washing hands and clothes after visiting other birds.
  • Keeping lofts and equipment clean.
  • Disinfecting equipment used to house, transport, feed and water other birds.
  • Preventing wild birds, feral pigeons, and their droppings from having contact with
    your pigeons or contaminating their feed or water.
  • Quarantine for at least two weeks any new birds or birds returning from a show or
    race.
  • Limiting any unnecessary visitors to your pigeonโ€™s loft.

๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜„๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ  is a viral infection of chickens (poultry) and other birds . It is a worldwide problem that causes acute respiratory disease with nervous signs.

There are registered Newcastle disease vaccines for poultry that (domestic poultry) owners are advised to use.

Contact between wild birds and domestic poultry must be prevented at all costs.

๐—œ๐˜€๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐—˜๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ป ๐—–๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฅ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐——๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—”๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—บ

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