New Zealand’s Largest Egg Farm Destroyed by Fire, 75,000 Hens Killed amid National Shortage

A huge fire has killed 75,000 hens at New Zealand’s largest egg farm as the country is already struggling with a nationwide shortage.

The blaze at Zeagold farm broke out on Monday and took “the better part of the day to contain,” according to the company.

In a statement about the fire, Zeagold revealed that twelve workers on the site were “unharmed but very distressed.”

The news comes as countries around the world are facing egg shortages.

Prior to the fire, New Zealand farmers estimated that the country needed another 300,000 hens to deal with a national egg shortage, The Guardian reports.

The spokesperson added that while it was still too early to assess how much the fire would affect the supply chain, “There will be some impact obviously – it’s not a great thing to happen in the middle of a shortage.”

Per The Guardian:

New Zealand has been in the grip of an egg shortage since the start of the year, when it put an end to battery farming.

The ban had been in the works since 2012 and battery hen numbers had dropped over time to make up just 10% of overall egg production – but their final outlawing at the start of January has still been enough to jolt the egg supply chain, leaving supermarket shelves empty, shop owners policing tray purchases and big-breakfast lovers bereft.

The shortage has reached the point of contention: one small-town supermarket banned a cruise ship crew from further egg purchases after they cleared the shelves; newspapers have issued advice columns on egg-free baking and tofu scrambles; and in January, the SPCA released an advisory telling New Zealanders not to engage in kneejerk purchases of back yard poultry, after concerns that a rise in amateur chicken ownership would result in the animals not being properly cared for.

“Egg supplies are tight, so this will not assist in any way,” said Michael Brooks, executive director of the Egg Producers Federation, according to Zero Hedge.

The fire comes roughly one week after America’s third-largest egg supplier, Hillandale Farms, burned down, killing up to 100,000 chickens.

The news also comes amid a string of incidents that have impacted the food supply chain.

Over the weekend, a major food processing plant was devasted by a huge fire.

Fire officials described the building as “a total loss.”

READ MORE: Major Food Processing Plant Completely Destroyed by Huge Fire: ‘Total Loss’

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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