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Shoppers Hit With Egg Limits As Avian Flu Outbreak Bites

Grocery retailers have been limiting the number of eggs shoppers can buy due to an ongoing outbreak of avian flu in the country.

South Africa is currently grappling with an outbreak of a high-pathogenic avian influenza, a bird flu which spreads rapidly in an infected flock, causing a high death rate.

General manager of the egg board at the SA Poultry Association, Dr Abongile Balarane, said an initial H5N1 outbreak started in the Western Cape in April.

He says the virus then spread throughout the country with only two provinces, the Eastern and Northern Cape, not affected.

A different strain of the disease has emerged in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and north of Free State.

Balarane said that in South Africa, we usually have about 27 million hens producing eggs on a daily basis and of those, five million have been culled due to infection.

Balarane said that the poultry industry would be quick to recover from the shortage and eggs were being imported to remedy the situation.