Ministry eases impact of avian influenza with egg, poultry imports

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Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza has decided to mitigate the impact on the market by allowing the importation of eggs and poultry meat as the avian influenza outbreak continues to cast its shadow over the poultry industry.

The move aims to stabilise the supply of these essential foods and ensure that consumers have access to sufficient stocks during the upcoming holiday season.

With the outbreak having spread across multiple provinces, excluding the Northern Cape, the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has reported a staggering 7.5 million chickens culled thus far.

The resultant shortage of eggs has triggered widespread consumer complaints, with many expressing dismay at the dramatic surge in prices for both chicken and eggs.

The Agriculture Ministry’s spokesperson, Reggie Ngcobo, provides an update on the containment efforts.

“We seem to have contained the disease. There is no further spread that has been reported in most parts of the country.”

“Those facilities affected have been put under quarantine, and the necessary protocols are being followed to ensure the affected chickens are being culled and disposed of,” he adds, emphasising the stringent measures being implemented to manage the outbreak.

The decision to permit the import of eggs and poultry meat serves as a measure to alleviate the strain on local production, safeguarding the availability of these vital food items for consumers during the festive season.

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