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Gauteng residents now not only need to deal with the increase in food prices due to load-shedding but also because of the avian influenza outbreak (bird flu) that has hit poultry producers hard in the province, which has cost poultry farmers at least 2.7 million chickens.
It is expected that the price of eggs and chickens will drastically increase because of this. In addition, experts warn that there may be a shortage of chickens and eggs in the coming months because of the bird flu.
Furthermore, Gauteng residents' dependence on poultry farming for employment will also face the potential of losing their jobs.
According to recent media reports, there have been attempts to procure a vaccine for bird flu so that poultry farmers can vaccinate their chickens and, in turn, curb any losses that they may incur.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be engaging with the Gauteng MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development on this issue. In addition, the DA is calling on government to impose a suspension of tariffs on poultry imports for at least 6 to 12 months.
The DA will also be tabling questions to determine what measures have been put in place to assist poultry farmers affected by the bird flu and if there are any plans in place to procure vaccines for this disease.
Issued by Bronwynn Engelbrecht MPL - DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development