Mystery of eggs shortage finally cracked

HAVE you noticed a giant hole on the supermarket shelf where the eggs should be and wondered what eggxactly is going on?

It is a case of the bird flu over the chicken farm.

A Woolworths spokeswoman said the avian influenza outbreak in Central NSW in October "has affected total egg supply across the market".

The NSW Department of Primary Industries confirmed a case of H7 avian influenza affected a flock of 400,000 laying hens near Young, on October 15.

Two days later and second case was confirmed in another 400,000 layer hens in a farm north of Young.

It was believed the second case was linked to the first case.

The birds had to be destroyed and this has affected egg supplies since before Christmas.

While the NSW DPI has confirmed the flu has been eradicated, the effects of losing so many birds was still being felt.

The Woolworths spokeswoman said some gaps remained in the market.

"We have been working with each individual store and our suppliers on a daily basis to maintain supply and minimise any impact on customers," she said.

Thankfully the bird flu doesn't appear to affect rabbits, and supplies of Easter eggs should be unaffected.


  • The bird flu affecting egg supply is known as H7 Avian Influenza.
  • It is a highly infectious viral disease that can affect many species of bird.
  • There are 144 subtypes of Avian Influenza in the A group of Avian Influenza viruses.
  • One of the subtypes is H5N1. This is the subtype involved in recent outbreaks of Avian Influenza in SE Asia and more recently in some areas of Eastern Europe.
  • The outbreak on NSW chicken farms was confirmed not to be this highly pathogenic H5N1 strain.

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