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East Rand poultry farmers describe devastating bird flu effects

Eggbert Eggs General manager Gawie Rossouw says the outbreak has also resulted in a number of staff being retrenched.

Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - Some poultry farmers on the East Rand have described the devastating impact bird flu has had on production after being forced to shut down their operations.

Gauteng Economic and Environment MEC Lebogang Maile on Tuesday visited one of the farms which have been hardest hit by the virus in Boksburg.

The rapid spread of avian influenza has crippled the poultry industry with looming jobs losses.

Eggbert Eggs is one of the farms where bird flu was first detected in Gauteng.

General manager Gawie Rossouw says the farm has lost nearly R400,000 chickens in the past several weeks.

Rossouw says the outbreak has also resulted in a number of staff being retrenched.

“Unfortunately we’ve already gone through the process of retrenchment and in Gauteng we’ve had to retrench 50 people.”

MEC Maile has acknowledged the industry is facing a serious crisis and has emphasised both government and the private sector will have to intervene.