Friday, June 14, 2024

Agriculture minister says ‘no reason’ for concern about egg supply after bird flu outbreak

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Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt says there’s no reason for Australians to be concerned about egg supply issues, after a bird flu outbreak in Victoria led to half a million chickens being euthanised and Coles introducing national purchase limits.
The background: The highly pathogenic H7N3 strain of bird flu was detected on five egg farms in Victoria’s southwest. The hens in those farms were euthanised as a precaution, .
On Tuesday, Coles introduced a limit of two egg cartons for customers in every state and territory besides Western Australia.
The key quote: “The advice to me is there’s no reason to be worried about a national shortage of eggs,” Watt said.

“Every day, Australia produces 18 million eggs, and even with a handful of poultry farms now out of action, there’s no risk to that supply in the near future or at all.”

What else to know: Watt said the strain of avian flu that had been detected on farms in Victoria was not the concerning deadly strain that has been found in other parts of the world.
He said people can still eat eggs safely, as long as they follow the usual food safety handling practices.

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