International study: Chicken and eggs pose no Covid-19 risk to human health

Tuesday 7 April 2020:

International Study proves chickens cannot carry the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus, posing NO risk to human health

The Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (and Egg Producers Federation) arepleased to be able to reassure Kiwi consumers that all New Zealand eggs and chicken meat is safe to consume as usual.

A leading German institute dedicated to research into virus disease in animals has just completed initial research into the transmission capability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from specific animals to humans. SARS-CoV-2 manifests as the Covid-19 virus in humans.

The study tested infection in chickens, pigs, fruit bats and ferrets. It found that under experimental conditions neither chickens nor pigs were susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2.  It concluded that because of this, chickens do not post a risk to human health.

The International Poultry Council has informed the Poultry Institute Association of New Zealand of the Friedrich-Loeffle-Institut findings which clearly show chickens pose no risk of carrying, and therefore transmitting the disease which can manifest in humans as Covid-19.  This pertains to chickens kept in close proximity to humans as farm animals, and those commercially bred to produce eggs or chicken meat for human consumption.

The study showed fruit bats and ferrets were susceptible to infection of the virus however, where it replicated well and could be transmitted to fellow animals in their species.

Further information on the study can be found in the following link.