AVIAN INFLUENZA IN OSTRICHES (struthio camelus):A REVIEW A. S. Mfaume1; and H. Agab2


By A. S. Mfaume, H. Agab.


Ostrich is increasingly becoming an important commercial farming bird throughout the world. The resent boom in ostrich farming has been influenced, not only by the market of the historical product, the feathers, but also by the high quality hide (leather), healthy low cholesterol-red meat, eggs and egg-shells, and fat. Probably the use of ostrich eyes and tendons might be useful in human surgery. The ostrich is also an excellent zoo bird because of its size, plumage and response to visitors. Apart from all these features that hint good future for the ostrich industry, consumption and export of ostrich products has in the past, been affected by outbreaks of avian influenza in ostrich farms in Italy (2000) and in South Africa (2004). In Saudi Arabia in 2007, thousands of ostriches were destroyed after an outbreak of AI in ostrich and poultry farms and some outlets selling ostrich products were closed-down. The occurrence of avian influenza in poultry in Asia in which a number of human cases were reported has further scared some consumers off ostrich products especially the meat.


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