The SA Poultry Association has warned all types of chicken are at risk of contracting bird flu, whether free-range, hardbody or conventionally bred live chickens.
Association CEO Kevin Lovell said the sale of live chickens had been banned to curb the spread of the virus. But the ban had nothing to do with preventing illness in humans.
“Though all chickens are susceptible to the disease, the bird flu is an animal health problem and not a human health one. The specific version of the flu discovered in South Africa is not harmful to human health, but poses a great threat to the poultry industry as the ones infected must be culled if they have not died from the disease already,” he said.
Lovell said it was perfectly fine for people to continue buying chicken because regulations had been put in place to oversee the distribution of live chickens, ensuring no infected stock would be on the market.
“The association is working closely with the Department of Agricult