Fish & Poultry Price Hikes Follow FMD Epidemic23 March 2012
EGYPT - Poultry prices are currently rising due to the prevalence of infectious bronchitis, which kills as many as 750,000 birds a day, according to government officials.
Vice-chairman of the Federation of Poultry Producers, Mohamed al-Shafei, said the slight rise in poultry prices is a result of "increased demand for poultry after the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in various governorates, increased costs of poultry feed, and over LE8 million in losses incurred by the poultry sector after it failed to bring the bird flu and IB virus under control."
He said that the General Authority for Veterinary Services has failed to produce anti-IB vaccines despite repeated promises to do so since the new viral strain was diagnosed in March 2011.
According to Egypt Independent, Mr Shafei has urged authorities to immediately import — at producers’ expense — the vaccines necessary to protect Egypt’s poultry population under the supervision of the veterinary authority.
According to Mohamed Fathy Osman, chairman of the General Authority for Fish Resources Development, the current fish production rates have helped in moderating the increase in meat prices, a result of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. He added that increased market supplies of fish have helped keep per kilo tilapia prices at LE12, although traders have unjustifiably tried to raise fish prices.
He told Al-Masry Al-Youm that while fish prices have gone up slightly, fish production has risen as well. He explained that Egypt's total production of fish in 2012 has so far amounted to 1.3 million tons, up 100,000 tons from last year.
Official sources at the Agriculture Ministry said the fasting period currently being observed by Copts, which is expected to continue until 14 April, has helped keep meat prices down.
Dr Suhair Hassan, head of the Central Department for Preventive Medicine, said the number of cattle infected with foot-and-mouth disease from 26 February to 20 March has now reached 46,000.
Dr Hassan told Al-Masry Al-Youm that 6,071 animals have died from the disease and Gharbiya Governorate was hit the hardest, followed by Daqahlia Governorate.
Meanwhile, the government has instructed all concerned ministries and governorates to prevent the transfer of animals between governorates to help curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, Egypt Independent reports.
TheFishSite News Desk