June 11, 2024


Australian supermarket chain enforces egg purchase limits amid bird flu outbreak


Coles, a major Australian supermarket chain, has initiated restrictions on egg purchases following the discovery of bird flu at a fifth poultry farm in Victoria, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.


The outbreak, which has affected four properties near Meredith and one near Terang, has prompted quarantine measures and the euthanasia of nearly half a million chickens.


Victoria, being the third largest egg-producing state in Australia, faces a significant reduction in supply due to the culling of approximately one in 16 egg-laying chickens. This depletion amounts to about 450,000 fewer eggs per day, raising concerns about potential shortages on supermarket shelves.


To mitigate the impact on consumers, Coles has imposed a temporary limit of two egg cartons per customer nationwide, excluding Western Australia. The supermarket chain assures customers of working closely with suppliers to maintain egg availability amidst the outbreak. However, Woolworths and Aldi have opted not to impose similar restrictions on egg sales.


Eggs Australia, a member-owned organisation supporting Australian egg producers, acknowledges the disruption caused by the outbreak but assures consumers that the market is actively seeking alternative sources to meet demand. Managing director Rowan McMonnies emphasised the resilience of the supply chain and urges shoppers to adapt their purchasing habits accordingly.


Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt expressed confidence in Victorian authorities' efforts to contain the outbreak, crediting their swift response for limiting the spread. Meanwhile, Federal Health Minister Mark Butler assures the public of ongoing monitoring and emphasised the significance of addressing the global issue of avian flu.


-      Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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