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RCL Foods and Quantum Foods became on Wednesday the latest major poultry producers to report cases of bird flu, whose effect is beginning to play out in higher meat prices as producers cull birds to contain the spread of the disease.
RCL Foods, owner of Rainbow Chicken, said it culled bird flock on at least two of its farms in the Western Cape and Gauteng, representing 5% of its breed stocks, at a cost of R26m.
Quantum Foods is also reeling from the outbreak, which hit two of its Western Cape commercial layer farms.
Quantum Foods and RCL joined Sovereign Foods and Astral Foods, which recently reported similar cases, pointing to a growing challenge that is now found in most provinces in SA, although still isolated.
"AI [avian influenza] has been spreading across SA, with over 50 reported cases since June 2017. AI is not known to affect humans, so there is no concern from a chicken consumption perspective," RCL Foods said.
Exports of raw meat, eggs and live birds from SA to some trade...
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