The Klein Karoo ostrich industry is showing a positive move forward following last week’s clean results for avian influenza. Avian influenza affected the area early in 2011, forcing farmers to close down business. An estimated 41,000 birds were killed to prevent the virus from spreading. The estimated economic loss due to the outbreak of avian flu early 2011 equals R800 million (approximately 101 million US$). With the last test round coming up in February 2012, local farmers and the industry are hopeful for another clean result. This will allow the lifting of the current ban on exporting to international markets. The Klein Karoo region of South Africa’ Southern Cape is known internationally for its ostrich industry. Local farmers await the lifting of the exporting ban, allowing them to start with new ostrich flocks for the export market.
Source: Oudtshoorn Courant, issue of 27 January 2012
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