Cape farmer loses 35 000 ducks to Avian flu

Avian Flu can have a devastating effect on the agricultural business sector.

Cape Talk's Kieno Kammies spoke to the owner of The Duck Farm, Leon Groeneveld, who has had to put his entire business on hold.

Groeneveld has lost a total of 35 000 ducks on his Joostenbergvlakte farm. 10 000 of those died because of the bird flu virus and he was recently forced to cull a further 25 000 ducks.

It's like an enemy you fight, you don't know where it comes from. It is just totally impossible to stop this thing.

Leon Groeneveld, duck farm owner

In one week we had an operation where we slaughtered 5 000 to 7 000 ducks a week. We are on 0, there is nothing to be sorted, no eggs to be produced so basically our business has come to a halt.

Leon Groeneveld, duck farm owner

The devastation has led to the retrenchment of 80 of his staff members.

Some of the guys have been on the farm before I got there. I can only supply work now to 16 of the 96 staff.

Leon Groeneveld, duck farm owner

The Duck Farm is a family owned operation since 2008. It has however been a duck farm since 1964.

Originally, they only offered whole frozen duck. Then in June 2012, the farm also started supplying fresh ducks.

Groeneveld started his working career as a civil engineer.

He then tackled the daunting financial industry where he worked for 20 years up until 2008 when he bought the Duck farm.

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio....

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