eggs and chickens

Bird Flu: Eggs Up, Chicken Down, And Bird Flu Vaccine Fight Erupts

Bird flu is causing egg prices to go up, and chicken prices to go down, at the supermarket. Approximately 47 million birds have been destroyed due to the avian flu virus. Nearly all of the 222 detections of the bird flu have presented on large commercial farms — “factory farms.”

Egg prices at the grocery store have reportedly increased to about $3 per dozen in the wake of the bird flu outbreak. Wholesale prices for a dozen eggs are 3 to 22.5 cents higher than normal, which means those cost increases will further drive up prices in stores, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) marketing department.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the avian flu outbreak is the largest bird flu outbreak on record. The H5N2 bird flu virus has now been confirmed on farms in 16 states and in Canada, as well. So far, the rapidly-spreading bird flu has not been known to cause human infections in America as it did in Asia during a 2003 outbreak.

American Bakers Association Vice President for Government Relations Cory Martin said the group is pushing for the USDA to “speed up approvals” for egg imports. Approximately 30 percent of the eggs in the United States, including those sold by the dozen, liquid eggs, frozen eggs, and dried eggs, have disappeared from the marketplace during the bird flu outbreak.

Eggs are reportedly being “rationed” at some grocery stores. Signs posted on the dairy case at HEB supermarkets inform customers that only three cartons can be purchased at one time. The HEB chain reportedly operates approximately 350 stores in New Mexico and Texas. An Ag report by Siouxland Matters ABC 9 News maintains that the egg rationing signs were posted out of fear that restaurants, bakeries, and commercial institutions might attempt to buy all the available eggs and leave none for other customers.

Grocery stores in other states have posted signs noting that egg prices have risen due to the bird flu and claim the price increase is just temporary.

USDA researcher and other animal health companies are reportedly working on a bird flu vaccine. Turkey farmers in Minnesota and Iowa that have been hit hard by the H5N2 virus are largely welcoming the possibility. Chicken farmers are reportedly not quite as eager to have their animals injected with a rapidly developed vaccine. Some farmers are currently lobbying the USDA against going forward with a bird flu vaccine until additional research and testing is conducted.

Poultry exports constitute a $5.7 billion industry for American farmers. A host of European nations have already expressed concern over the bird flu vaccine and stated birds given the vaccine will not be allowed into their respective countries.

What do you think about the price of eggs and the potential bird flu vaccine?

[Image via Shutterstock]

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