Fast-food giant KFC has closed down all of its restaurants in Lesotho due to the severe outbreak of bird flu in neighbouring South Africa.
This decision follows the banning of all poultry imports from South Africa by the Lesotho government.
KFC's chickens, the key ingredient in its world-famous fried chicken, are primarily sourced from certified farms in South Africa that are rigorously maintained to remain free of bird flu. However, the ongoing crisis in South Africa has put significant pressure on the supply chain.
Lesotho, a landlocked and mountainous country completely encircled by South Africa, has been significantly affected by the outbreak that has been plaguing its neighbor for several months.
South Africa has been struggling to control the spread of bird flu, leading to the culling of more than seven million egg-laying hens, representing 20-30% of the country's entire poultry stock.
The severity of the outbreak also prompted neighboring Mozambique to cull around 45,000 infected hens that had been imported from South Africa, further underscoring the regional crisis.
The bird flu outbreak has had far-reaching consequences, causing a shortage of both eggs and chicken meat in multiple countries across southern Africa. KFC Lesotho, however, has vowed to find a resolution to this supply chain disruption and has assured its loyal customers that its restaurants will soon be back in operation.