1. Animal Husbandry

Bird Flu Induces Egg Shortage in Israel; Kills 2000 Cranes

Sugandh Bhatnagar
Sugandh Bhatnagar

The outbreak of pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza or Bird Flu in Israel is projected to result in a shortage of millions of eggs, according to Israel's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to the Xinhua news agency, there would be a 14 million egg shortage per month, out of the 200 million eggs consumed in Israel each month.

To remedy the issue, Israeli agricultural minister Oded Forer decided to open the Israeli market to duty-free imports of 70 million to 100 million eggs immediately.

The ministry has triggered an emergency veterinary process to prevent the virus from spreading further after a recent outbreak of avian flu in 60 chicken coops in northern and southern Israel.

Earlier in December, the ministry said dozens of H5N1-infected wild cranes had been discovered in the northeastern Hula Valley and the bird flu outbreak had killed more than 2,000 wild cranes on a reserve in northern Israel, an extremely high toll for the seasonal disease.

According to Ohad Hatsofe, an expert with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, another 10,000 Cranes are estimated to be sick in addition to the 2,000 who have died.

According to Uri Naveh, a senior scientist at the authority, the virus attacks Israel every year, but this year's outbreak is substantially larger than prior years. The quantity of deceased cranes, according to Naveh, is "extraordinary."

Since October, about 100,000 wild cranes have arrived in Israel, the majority of whom have stopped in the Hula Valley, an essential halt on their migratory trek to Africa. It's estimated that around 40,000 cranes remain in the area.

According to Israel's agriculture ministry, the avian flu that is destroying the population, H5N1, has been identified in several poultry populations in northern Israel. Egg sales from the affected farms have been halted by the ministry. Although H5N1 outbreaks in humans are uncommon, they have occurred in the past.

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