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The outbreak of the bird flu at operations of a Gauteng poultry producer has cost it R35m, plus an additional R30m to restore operations. 

Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment Agriculture and Rural Development, Lebogang Maile, visited a poultry farm in Gauteng's Rooikraal on Tuesday. Maile visited the farm and met with management to get a better understanding of the damaging impact of the outbreak. The general manager at Eggbert Eggs, Gawie Rossouw, explained that over 525 000 birds were culled at its operations at Rooikraal farm, Rooines. The value of this amounts to R27.5m, based on a valuation schedule by the Department of Agriculture, but this amount could be much higher, Russouw said. 

The total loss to Eggbert was R34.5m and about R31.8m is needed to restore operations. This essentially comes down to R65m to cover the losses and cost needed to get the business going again. 

More than 470 000 eggs were dumped at R12 per dozen; this is an amount of R5.6m. Rossouw said that each dozen could have fetched R15 at the market. 

He also clarified that none of these losses was covered by insurance. 

Maile said that the situation is devastating. “This does not augur well for the fight against poverty because we all know the price of food has been unreasonably high. This, unfortunately, will contribute to an already crisis situation,” he said. 

Bird flu is a predicament at the moment but keep an eye out for any updates. 

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