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Apr 9, 2013 5:47 PM by Eric Ross

South Africa: H7N1 bird flu found in ostrich farm

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South African officials say they have detected bird flu on an ostrich farm but that it is unrelated to the strain that has killed eight people in China.

Still, the discovery is another blow for an industry that has lost 40 percent of its 50,000 farmers since the European Union imposed a ban on imports of South African ostrich meat after a 2011 outbreak.

Then, officials killed 50,000 birds infected with the H5N2 strain.

Western Cape agriculture chief Gerrit van Rensburg said Tuesday that officials detected the H7N1 strain near the southwestern town of Oudtshoorn. He said they had quarantined farms in a three-kilometer (two-mile) radius for an intensive epidemiological investigation.

Van Rensburg says the impact of the new outbreak would be clearer once test results come in.

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