JOHANNESBURG - Government has placed a general ban on the sale of live hens throughout the country in a bid to control an outbreak of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu.
Officials have emphasized that no humans have been affected.
The Agriculture Department says that exports of processed poultry products, live chickens and fresh produce will continue, depending on the requirements of importing countries.
Last week, South Africa reported an outbreak of a highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, an agricultural industry body group, AgriSA, said.
Earlier this month, all trade was suspended in birds and chicken products from neighbouring Zimbabwe after it reported an outbreak of H5N8 at a commercial poultry farm.
On Thursday, the World Organisation for Animal Health reported an outbreak on a commercial broiler breeder farm in Mpumalanga province, citing a report from the South African farm ministry.
Some 5,000 birds died of the highly contagious disease and the remainder at the 24,000-birds farm was in the process of being culled, the ministry said.
Additional reporting by Reuters.
(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)