South Africa is facing a bird flu crisis caused by two strains of highly contagious avian influenza that have already killed millions of birds. The emergence of the H7N6 strain, which first appeared in June 2023, has alarmed experts as it is welladapted to infecting chickens and can easily spread between birds and farms. The crisis has revealed flaws in the country’s biosecurity measures and prompted calls for innovative solutions to combat the virus’s spread, including new vaccination strategies and compensation for farmers who comply with culling measures. Despite the outbreak, poultry products remain safe for consumption, with no evidence of human infection from the current virus.
South Africa is facing a severe egg shortage due to the largest avian flu outbreak in the country’s history, leading to high egg prices and rationing measures by retailers. Spar is actively working with private label suppliers and partners to explore the possibility of importing eggs from Southern African countries to ensure a consistent egg supply and minimize the impact of the shortage. The ongoing crisis has also led to significant harm to the poultry industry, with retailers and the government taking action to address the issue and provide availability and affordability to consumers.