Avian Flu Outbreak Ravages South Africa's Poultry Industry

The poultry industry, in South Africa is currently facing a crisis due to the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) across several provinces. H5N1 has struck the Western Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal provinces while the H7N6 strain is affecting Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West. As a result farms in these regions are under quarantine measures to prevent the movement of chickens or eggs.

The impact of this outbreak is particularly significant in Gauteng and Mpumalanga where the poultry sector is feeling its effects acutely. The egg production sector has been hit hard as sick chickens are laying eggs or none at all. This shortage of eggs on store shelves has directly affected consumers access to this food item. The road to recovery for farms and the industry as a whole is projected to be long and costly. Necessary measures such as culling birds implementing biosecurity protocols and enhancing disease surveillance efforts are vital steps toward restoring stability within the poultry sector. Additionally there remains uncertainty about consequences, on food inflation—an issue that looms over South Africa as it grapples with this crisis.DOC-20231002-WA0083..pdf