Avian flu could lead to egg and chicken shortages

JOHANNESBURG – There is a big possibility that there will be a shortage of eggs and chicken around the country due to the avian flu outbreak, given the number of chickens that have been culled or killed by the disease, the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has warned.

Outbreaks of the deadly have been recorded in six provinces. That has put thousands of jobs on the line.

In the Western Cape, where there have been reports of shortages of eggs and price increases in poultry products. This has been the worst affected by the disease.

The poultry industry in the province is projecting production losses amounting to R800 million due to an outbreak of avian flu.

To alleviate the shortage, the industry has been working with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to develop a protocol that will allow for the importation of hatching eggs said Charlotte Nkuna, the acting CEO of SAPA.

This has affected a lot of farms as they had to cull all birds on the property and recall and destroy all eggs as part of measures to control the spread of the virus.

Some farms will have to shut down production for up to six month, while they embark on surveillance and cleaning.

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