Western Cape ostriches to be killed

2012-07-12 09:38

Cape Town - About 8 000 ostriches in the Western Cape are being slaughtered after a fresh outbreak of avian flu, The Cape Times reported on Thursday.

Infected ostriches were found on a farm near Albertinia and on two farms near Heidelberg two weeks ago.

All birds found on an infected farm had to be killed as part of the government's "stamping out" policy.

The industry had recently stated it had brought the H5N2 disease in the province under control and was a step closer to having its export status re-instated. The EU had banned all exports since last April.

“It’s a terrible thing for the whole industry," SA Ostrich Business Chamber CEO Piet Kleyn told the newspaper.

"We have to look at other control measures because this stamping out is possibly not the way to go."

  • ann.murray.9279 - 2012-07-12 10:09

    This is so very sad. Poor birds and poor farmers - they must be suffering a huge loss.

  • ivan.frantz.3 - 2012-07-12 10:45

    This is so pathetic to the birds and the farmers. Is there absolutley no other alternative solutions to this outbreak ?

  • 6Lady6Cadaver6 - 2012-07-12 10:45

    Poor Ostriches :-(

  • Neutedop - 2012-07-12 11:21

    Feel sorry for the birds, and farmers (but they will have insurance)....but at least it means more food stay in the country, helping us to be able to afford stuff like ostrich meat....if there must be a silver lining.

      Gyspsydawn - 2012-07-13 08:48

      there is no insurance cover against an epidemic such as this, its a great loss to all the farmers,and it doesnt mean more meat stays in the country(??????) it means lots of people will lose jobs! no industry, no employment! the skins & feathers can still be sold at market prics, the meat is sold at a greatly reduced price and therefore a great loss. the cost of rearing and caring for these birds is tremendous and when u have to sell at such a great loss, it does not make the industry viable.its also a huge forex loss for the country, so no, there is NO silver lining!

      janet.mcdonaldbelstead - 2012-07-14 22:18

      An adult ostrich will yield a maximum of 15kg of edible meat once processed thus resulting in the higher per kilogram price. What was once a thriving industry for the region is now a day to day battle for the farmers and their employees to keep their heads above water. Agri and Landbou departments are trying their best to keep everything under control and disease-free, but this is not easy at all. Just when they think there is light at the end of the tunnel, another outbreak is discovered. When the ostrich industry is affected, the entire town of Oudtshoorn and neighbouring areas take a knock financially too as most industries rely on the other.

  • rolf.akermann - 2012-07-12 12:22


      Gyspsydawn - 2012-07-13 08:43

      no, it gets used in pet meat

  • tian.cronje - 2012-07-12 13:32

    Could this be the final straw of this export business. This culling includes breeding stock. I know there were some restrictions in place the past couple of months and that the world has been watching the situation closely. Breeding pairs has been exported to the rest of the world the last 10 years and Ostriches can be found all over the world - America, Britain, China, Taiwan, Russia etc. Once the animals are culled the carcasses are burnt, which includes the skin. Most of the birds in this area are slaughtered at Mosstrich (Mosselbay) and not the KKK abattoir in Oudtshoorn. This is sad for all parties.

  • jacques.buckle - 2012-07-12 13:53

    ostrich steak would be nice right now

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