An outbreak of an avian influenza in commercial poultry flocks has led to a drop in egg production in Ireland, the Irish Egg Association (IEA) has said.
'As a result of this loss of production, at a time of peak consumer demand in the last six weeks, a shortfall in supplies has emerged which has had to be filled by eggs from outside the State,' the group said in a statement.
According to the IEA the drop in egg production is estimated to be between 10% and 15%, although it may be higher, while demand increased by reported figures of more than 30%.
'However, these figures are estimates; as this is an evolving situation these figures may rise or fall and it is therefore likely that eggs will have to continue to be imported for some time to meet demand,' it added.
Main Supply Source
The group that represents the interests of the main Irish egg packing companies in Ireland highlighted that the outbreak is concentrated in County Monaghan, which is the main source of egg supplies in the Rep of Ireland.
'Movement restrictions have been imposed as a precautionary measure on a number of sites, at various stages since the problem first arose, in order to protect other flocks,' the IEA said.
The group suggested that poultry owners, including backyard flock owners, are required to be vigilant and to implement strict biosecurity on their premises.
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