Egg shortage being felt in Middelburg

Despite having two large poultry farms on Middelburg's doorstep, the nationwide egg and poultry meat shortage being caused by the mass avian flu outbreak is being felt locally.

While Gauteng was hit first by the devastating impact of the H7 virus, with empty shelves seen in retailers across the province, Middelburg was spared until now by Wolma and Alzu Eggs.

A slight increase in price and dwindling options, however, are evident at local retail stores.

During a visit to local stores by a journalist from the Middelburg Observer it was noted that while eggs are still in stock, choices are limited. Kanonkop Spar had also put up a notice informing customers that suppliers are being affected by the avian flu.

Previously, prominent agricultural businessman and co-owner of Alzu Eggs, Piet Du Toit, predicted nationwide shortages despite their own enterprise and Wolma fortunately escaping any contagion from the deadly virus.

Mr Du Toit acknowledged that the avian flu had wiped out roughly 10 million layer hens across the country, forecasting that the deaths would undoubtedly affect the supply and prices of eggs and chicken.

Mr Du Toit was hopeful that the change of season and first rains would bring an end to the virus, adding that the flu flourishes in cold temperatures and dusty and windy weather attributes to contagion.

Meanwhile, the country has turned to humour, cracking jokes instead of eggs.

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