The Department of Environmental Affairs says it has identified an outbreak of Avian Flu among the Swift Tern bird species at Gaansbaai in the Western Cape.
It says it has subsequently suspended all scientific research related to the birds to prevent the spread of Avian Flu due to handling.
Department spokesperson, Zolile Nqayi says some birds were taken to a rehabilitation centre while those that died from the virus were incinerated.
He has urged the public to call local authorities if they come across birds in distress.
“We’ve decided to stop all of the handling of sea birds to ensure that the virus does not spread among the birds or other species since the scientists handle various sea birds. We don’t want the virus to spread into colonies where it’s currently not found. Although the Avian Flu has no effect on humans, it’s still advised that people should not handle any of these birds,’ explains Nqayi.