Egypt poultry industry in supply problems after flu
After five human deaths and 20 million culled
birds, Egyptians are returning to chicken as their main source of animal
protein, creating a supply crunch as slaughter houses struggle to meet the
Egyptians turned away from poultry when the deadly bird flu virus hit the
country in February, but the panic which drove thousands of people to jam phone
lines with reports of the disease has since subsided, industry experts
Poultry once accounted for about half of all animal protein
consumed in Egypt, the world's most populous Arab state, compared to about 26%
globally, some analysts said.
Red meat costs about 40 Egyptian pounds
($7) a kilogram, fish and white cheese are half that, but chicken still lags
behind at between 12 and 15 pounds ($2-$2.60), making it popular in a country
where GDP per capita is about $4,400 a year.
The government has
encouraged people to switch to frozen chicken as an option safer than
unregulated domestic rearing.
But slaughter houses providing chilled
and frozen chicken can only supply a fraction of the 3 million chickens
Egyptians used to consume on average each day.
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