Lebanon’s Chicken Hit With Deadly Virus

I actually come from a family who owns chicken farms both from my paternal and maternal sides. I grew up around family members highly involved with the little creatures, although I tend to stay away from anything I am not obliged to do with their regards.

Every month or so, my family has to bring in over 125,000 chicken to our farms and get them to grow to full size before they’re taken out and turned into food. Recently, there has been panic about a virus that has been blowing in from the Northern parts of the country, killing thousands of poultry in its path. My uncle likes to call it: the plague of the chicken.

I don’t mean to get anyone to freak out, not with all the rotten meat and cheese frenzy, but I have yet to see any major news outlet talk about the matter so I figured I would.

Only yesterday, one of the farms next to my uncle’s in our hometown, had ten thousand chicken die because of the virus. My uncle was lucky enough to have his current flock removed before the virus hit. My maternal uncle, however, may not be as lucky. Extra measures are currently being taken to ensure his 100,000 birds do not suffer dramatic losses as a result of the virus. Despite those measures, over 8000 have died overnight yesterday.

The “silver-lining” is that with this virus killing the chicken, the odds of it getting transmitted to people by consuming chicken are next to nothing.

However, it will lead to drastic shortages in chicken meat in the Lebanese market. In two short days, the price according to which my uncle’s chicken were sold jumped more half a dollar from $1.90 a kilo to $2.5 and it’s been increasing since then. Add this to another factor eating away at the wage increase.

With all the rotten meat, rotten cheese and now dead chicken, perhaps observing lent was actually a good idea this year? ‘Tis a good time to be a “devout” Christian apparently – or vegan.