Despite the implementation of stringent hygiene practices across most farms in the country, SA’s poultry industry is bracing itself for more bird flu outbreaks similar to the 2017 crisis, which cost farmers close to R2bn.

The latest outbreak of the highly contagious avian flu — affecting at least six commercial farms in Gauteng, the Western Cape and the North West — will hurt the sector, which has been on the back foot largely due to cheap imports mainly from Europe and Brazil. In addition to reduced demand due to the Covid-19 economic crisis, the sector has been hit hard by the sharp increase in production costs, threatening its viability...

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