Australia limits egg purchases as bird flu spreads in Victoria

Australia limits egg purchases as bird flu spreads in Victoria

Nearly 500,000 chickens euthanized, egg supply reduced in Oceanian country

By Yasin Gungor

ISTANBUL (AA) - Australia has announced a temporary limit on the purchase of eggs after bird flu was detected on a fifth poultry farm in the country's southeastern Victoria state.

"We are working closely with all of our suppliers to ensure eggs remain available for our customers and providing support to the industry in responding to the avian flu cases in Victoria," a supermarket Coles spokeswoman said, according to ABC News.

Nearly 500,000 chickens have been euthanized and quarantine zones have been established after the highly pathogenic H7N3 strain of avian influenza was found on five properties, according to the Victorian Farmers Federation.

Victoria, the third largest egg-producing state in the country, saw its egg supply reduced by 450,000 per day due to the culling of one of 16 chickens.

Egg suppliers told local media the situation was the worst in more than 20 years and predicted the cost of a carton could soon triple.

The Victorian Farmers Federation urged poultry farmers and bird owners to report any unexplained deaths.

Other major supermarket chains in the country, Woolworths and Aldi, have not yet announced any restrictions on egg sales.

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