(Egg) breaking news: We face a shortage after bird flu cases

AUSTRALIA  is facing an egg shortage ahead of the peak holiday season after an outbreak of bird flu shut down two poultry farms.

About 450,000 chickens have been destroyed at a free range and caged egg farm in Young, NSW, creating a national shortfall, which will cause prices to rise and take six to 12 months to abate.

The virus is not the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, which has killed humans, nor is it closely related, the NSW Department of Primary Industries said.

But it has significantly dented supply and put pressure on prices.

Melbourne-based Farm Pride Foods, which is one of Australia's biggest egg processors, has had to cancel orders, with its sales plunging between 8 and 9 per cent compared with the same time last year.

More on this story at www.smh.com.au