Avian Flu epidemic forces cull of 17m chickens

Financial Tribune- A round 17 million chickens have been culled in Iran so far, due to the recent outbreak of aviation flu, the chairman of the board of directors at Tehran’s Union of Producers of Egg-Laying Chicken said.

Nasser Nabipour added that almost all the provinces across the country, except Semnan and Khorasan Razavi, are now dealing with the deadly virus.

According to the official, the permit for importing 20,000 tons of eggs has been issued and so far 50-60 tons have been imported from Turkey, Mehr News Agency reported.

This is while Deputy Agriculture Minister Ali Akbar Mehrfard earlier told the news agency that a shipment of 130,000 tons of eggs had been imported from Turkey and was being distributed in the domestic market.

“Turkey has increased egg prices from $22 to $28 within 24 hours of exporting eggs to Iran,” he said.

Nabipour hoped that imports would lead to a decline in the rising egg prices in the Iranian market.

According to CBI’s latest report, egg prices marked a 9% hike during the week to Dec. 22 compared to the previous week and a 53.7% rise compared with last year’s corresponding week, reaching 126,000-175,000 rials ($3-4.1) for each tray of 30 eggs.

The price has reportedly reached 210,000 rials ($5.01) in some markets.

Iranian poultry farms are hit by avian flu every year around this time. The H5N8 strain of bird flu infecting Iranian farms is deadly for poultry, but according to World Health Organization, although human infection with the virus cannot be excluded, the likelihood is low.

The recent outbreak is said to have inflicted losses worth over 20 trillion rials (more than $477 million) on production units so far.

This year, the government has allocated 1 trillion rials ($24 million) as compensation to chicken farmers for the massive losses caused by the recent outbreak of avian flu across the country.