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15 October 2021 Update: Avian Influenza outbreak

Update: Avian Influenza outbreak

For Immediate Release
15 October 2021

Western Cape authorities continue to respond to an outbreak of Avian Influenza amongst wild seabirds, primarily along parts of the West Coast but also in parts of the Overberg. Clean up operations will continue over the weekend.

The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, says it remains critical to conduct thorough clean up operations and to work hard and fast to prevent the spreading of the virus to other sectors of the province.

“Teams are still collecting dead and sick birds from areas where infection has been reported. We are keeping an eye on Dyer Island where clean up teams yesterday picked up 1595 dead birds. However, the situation in Bergriver Municipality area appears to be improving. From 1500 dead birds collected on Wednesday, we only collected 100 yesterday. In addition, our partners have reported no more carcasses have been found on Robben Island yesterday but they will check again today. We are hoping this trend continues dropping today and over the weekend.”

Bredell says a disposal site has been identified and prepared for the disposal of the infected wild bird carcasses. Veterinarians also continue providing assistance. Officials are following advice provided by Veterinary Services in terms of how to manage the sick birds.

“I want to thank all our workers and partners who mobilized rapidly to help and continue to work hard to stop the spread of this virus. I also want to repeat this critical message to the public: Please do not approach or touch any sick or dead birds. If you spot a bird behaving strangely, or a dead bird, please call the closest municipal office, conservation authority or your local vet.

Contact details for state veterinarians are available at


Media enquiries:
James-Brent Styan
Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell

Mobile:                   084 583 1670
Telephone:            021 483 2820