Chicken and egg shortages may be due to ‘worst bird flu’ yet


South African poultry farmers are warning against possible chicken and egg shortages amid the worst bird flu outbreak to hit the country yet.

Quantum Foods said on Friday that it had to dispose of almost two million chickens this year, worth more than R100 million rand.

“The bird flu outbreak is the worst South Africa has ever seen,” Astral Foods said earlier. According to the company, there is already a shortage of the table egg supply and it is expected that chicken meat may also become scarce and expensive in the coming months.

The outbreak has cost him R220 million rand so far, Astral said.

The first bird flu cases were reported in April and the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) said earlier this month that the country is struggling with two different strains of the virus, the notorious H5N1 and a new strain identified as H7N6.

According to Astral Gauteng, the latter has spread “at an alarming rate” through Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

According to SAPA, the number of bird flu cases in South Africa this year is more than in any other year since the first outbreaks on commercial farms were reported in 2017.