With the culling of 360 ostriches in the Oudtshoorn area, the Western Cape agriculture department has brought its culling programme to a close.
The year of culling was initiated in an effort to eradicate a HPAI outbreak that has severely reduced the industry, with over 40,000 ostriches culled.
Among the culled birds were 3,000 breeders, dampening breeding for the next three years, at which point the replacement breeders will have reached maturity.
Ostrich industry farmers received R50 million (€4.8 million) in compensation, but 90% of the ostrich meat was exported to Europe. The EU’s ban on ostrich imports 14 month ago is estimated to have cost the industry €76 million.
Export of fresh meat to the EU may resume after three months, if no further outbreak takes place. But resumption of normalcy is conditional on South Africa’s ostrich farmers ramping up their biosecurity measures to restrict the spread of disease, and a mandatory registration process for all, not just exporting, farmers.
Source: South Africa’s Business Day