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Livestock department warns of avian influenza outbreak

June 1, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

THE Department of Livestock Services in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has warned of a possibility of an outbreak of avian influenza in Lesotho.

According to the Director of Livestock Services, Dr Keneuoe Lehloenya, the department received a report of high mortality of layers on a mixed farm located in Ha Penapena, Maseru on May 28.
She said over 500 birds died on that farm and veterinaries from the ministry went to investigate the deaths on the same day, followed by another visit by a whole team of vets the next day.

“Based on the history, clinical signs and post-mortem findings, avian influenza (bird flu) was suspected and samples were collected and submitted to the Central Veterinary Laboratory where the real-time polymerase chain reaction was conducted and an outbreak of Avian Influenza was confirmed,” Dr Lehloenya said.
She further showed that the department is at an advanced stage of sending samples for patho-typing and N typing to the LGC Genomics in Germany and Onderstepoort Veterianry Research Institute in Pretoria, South Africa.
The department, she said has advised itself on measures to curb the spread of the diseases, and those include disinfection and decontamination, official disposal of carcasses, placing the affected farm and surrounding areas under quarantine with immediate effect, banning of exportation of poultry and poultry products from the borders of Lesotho and tracing contact farms.

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The doctor concluded by warning that the disease is transmissible between infected birds and humans, therefore advising the public not to consume sick or dead chickens.

“They should immediately report any suspicious, sick or dead domestic and wild birds to the nearest veterinary outfit.” LeNA

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