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Chicken & egg shortage due to avian flu could last until end of October – Sapa

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The South African Poultry Association (Sapa)’s Abongile Balarane said South Africa had been hit by the third cycle of avian flu and a new strain of the virus called H7N6 had been discovered.

CAPE TOWN – The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has confirmed that a shortage of chicken and eggs as a result of avian flu could last until the end of October.

This comes as a number of retailers have been warning customers about shortages in the market.

Sapa general manager Abongile Balarane said South Africa had been hit by the third cycle of avian flu and a new strain of the virus called H7N6 had been discovered.

“This strain we’ve seen is very catastrophic in the areas of Gauteng and Mpumalanga. To date, we’ve lost a significant number of chickens from both strains. We have lost more than 15 to 20 percent of the national production in South Africa.”

Balarane said this meant there would be a tight supply of chicken and a strain in the supply of eggs but it won’t last long.

“We will be able to restock the farms as soon the avian flu starts to diminish. Usually, it gets to diminish around October closer to the warmer days.”

He said interprovincial trade would also help to curb the shortage of chicken and eggs in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture said there was no reason for anyone to panic about a chicken and egg shortage in the country.

Spokesperson, Reggie Ngcobo, said the department was only aware of an avian flu outbreak in Gauteng.

“Currently, it’s contained there, that is why it has not spread in all other provinces. It is contained in Gauteng. So, the department is working with those particular facilities that have been affected at this stage to see how they can be assisted.”

He added that as long as the avian flu was contained, there would be no shortage of chicken and eggs.

“We don’t see any huge impact in the shortage of eggs in the whole country.”

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