• Chicken and egg (Source: Getty Images)
    Chicken and egg (Source: Getty Images)
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Farm Pride Food’s latest update to the ASX says additional testing at its Rocks site, in the Lethbridge area, returned positive tests for Avian Influenza (AI). The farm has around 240,000 birds, almost a quarter of Farm Pride’s total production capacity.

The first outbreak was reported in late May at one of Farm Pride’s farms in Meredith, Victoria, and at its Lethbridge Aviary farm earlier this month. With this latest outbreak, 36 per cent of the company’s production capacity has been affected.

It said it would seek compensation from the Emergency Animal Disease Compensation Scheme arising from the disposal of these birds.

In Australia, wild birds are the natural host, with some carrying LPAI with no symptoms of the disease. The annual migration of wild birds is an ongoing source of disease introduction. Infected birds spread the virus through saliva, nasal secretions, and faeces.

Farm Pride said it had started an operational review of the business to reduce costs during the period of reduced egg production.

It has also proposed to conduct a non-renounceable fully underwritten pro-rata entitlement offer to raise around $6.17 million before costs.

The funds would go towards working capital during the recovery period, expanding rearing and laying farming operations, capital expenditure at its Keysborough grading floor and product plant and other requirements.

The rights issue offers eligible shareholders the opportunity to subscribe for three new fully paid ordinary shares for every seven fully paid ordinary shares at 10 cents per share.

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